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When compared to some of the other developments in automotive technology, many believe that advances in lighting haven't kept up. "Smart" lights seek to fill that void.
The technology, currently under development by Hella, employs the use of a sensor and a camera to detect vehicles in the distance. If the system identifies another car, up to 2,600 feet away, it can position the headlamp lower to cut the length of the beam and thus preventing the glare through the windshield or reflected in the mirror.

The system can detect vehicles traveling in any direction, and is even intelligent enough to identify when either vehicle is on an incline or hill. Supposedly, the system doesn't reduce the effectiveness or visibility provided by traditional headlights.

If this spells the end of misaligned lights blinding us at night, we're interested in seeing this technology come to market. But don't expect it anytime soon, as Hella maintains it won't be ready for primetime for another couple of years.

[Source: AutoExpress]


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  • 10 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      The auto-level system is great...when it works. When the auto-level on my BMW started to act silly, it would align the passenger side too high, driver side too low. Repair cost in time + money was too much. I unplugged the auto-level and leveled them myself. I tested them extensively, had a friend drive opposite direction, and all was well; no blinding whatsoever, even when on bumps. Up to this day, I have never had anyone flash their lights at me. Just some nice flickering. :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      The other problem here is that 4x4s are allowed to have their headlights mounted higher than cars. So, a 4x4 with low beam HID is almost as glaring as a normal car with halogen hi beam. Leading to people calling to ban HIDs, since they might not realize that trucks have this "glaring" exemption.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Beeing an American that has driven European spec cars with leveling headlights and owned a Citroen DS years ago with the turning headlights, this would be a good feature. However, I think another company (Lucas) had this technology back in the 1960s and even used it on some Rovers (an automatic dip).
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'd like something like this for the back of the car. A light that comes on for the high-beamers, and aims it backwards to the source.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In my experience the headlights that shine into my eyes (and hurt) don't tend to be HIDs anymore. There are plenty of idiots who actually have their high beams on (few people actually know what they do or what the blue dash light means). Many more have a single misaligned light, which I don't understand.

      Of trucks and SUVs, the only models that I consistently find annoying are the large GM pickups/SUVs, Toyota Tacomas, Jeep Wranglers, and FJ Cruisers. Lifted pickups are the worst, obviously. But even the current-gen Accord often seems to have overly bright headlights.

      It's a really annoying problem, but it's not due to HIDs at all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Basically a standard HID headlight but with a sensor that will adjust it automatically instead of relying on the soccer mom in the SUV fifteen feet behind you to spin the adjustment wheel (which she probably didn't know was there).
      • 8 Years Ago
      Will these work as poorly as the toyota/lexus ones that turn with the steering wheel?

      Most importantly will they cost just as much to replace? OUCH.

      Call me old fashioned but my traditional plain lights work great. I'm all for adding technology (aka weight) to cars when it truly helps but this really looks like a silly gadget for the sake of gadgetry. Bleck.
      • 8 Years Ago
      First off, manual leveling of discharge lamps is not acceptable in Euro, so why should it be here? HID headlights should be required to have a front and rear sensor-for dynamic auto leveling, having just one rear sensor is called just 'automatic leveling' and has too much latency.

      There isn't going to be any major advancement in the USA until the horribly glaring SAE lights go away, and the lighting is required to be ECE compliant. Motorcycles are allowed to use it now. That 'intelibeam' here, is just a toy.

      They [Europe] already have Hella Variox headlight system, what does our E-class get?
      • 8 Years Ago
      ECE spec, only way to roll
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would love for auto leveling headlights to be mandatory for ALL vehicles.

      I drive quite a bit and the glare I experience does not stem from HID vehicles themselves.

      - people driving with high-beams
      - different headlight placement height between trucks / SUVs & sedans
      - absolutely misaligned headlights, there seems to be no default headlight level inspection in the US
      - lack of manual adjustment wheel so the driver can compensate for passengers, fuel level and/or load (In Europe, you can fail technical inspection if you get your lights top level set on an empty tank and go to the control station with a full tank)
      - fog lights used without fog, heavy rain, heavy snow

      Btw. Does anybody know when a rear fog light be mandatory in the US ??