Anyone who's bought one of those old school metal shift knobs knows they're really cool until they sit in a parking lot in the sun for a few hours. Then they're not cool at all. Likewise, features such as the aluminum dash on the 2015 Ford Mustang can be all kinds of neat right up until the sun hits it just the right way and sends shards of blinding light through the cabin. The Ford Visual Performance and Evaluation Lab is where engineers figure out how to make sure that doesn't happen.
Still in the process of trying to get its trick LED Matrix Beam headlights legalized in the US, Audi is now trying to get its front and rear sequential LED turn signals approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Just like its auto-dimming headlights, the sequentially illuminating turn signals don't meet NHTSA's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108.
Deep, dark, secret confession time: Back well over a decade ago while I was in college, I supported my love for all things automotive in part by publishing basic how-to articles on websites dedicated to the vehicle that I owned at the time, a 1999 Ford Ranger. I never got paid for these pieces, but they eventually gained enough notice that aftermarket companies started sending me products to feature. Much of it was cosmetic, all of it was minimally involved, and some of the modifications now loo
When computer hardware companies start getting involved with the development of automotive technologies, you can be sure some futuristic stuff is about to go down. How does invisible rain sound to you? Intel, along with Carnegie Mellon University, has come up with an idea for a new headlight system that can make rain seem to disappear from the driver's direct line of sight.
Cadillac has already been releasing a steady drip of information about what's going into its 2013 XTS like its autonomous-vehicle tech, and now it's focusing on lighting choreography. Cadillac reminds us that its lighting signature is vertical bands of illumination, tying it back to 1948, when the tailfins for which the brand is still known were first used on cars like the Fleetwood Sixty Special and Series 61 Coupe.
A French company may have come with the next big thing in vehicle lighting. Valeo SA has developed a system called Beamatic Premium that allows drivers to keep their high-beams on at all times while still protecting other drivers from being blinded while driving. The tech uses onboard cameras to track the location of vehicles on the road and automated dousers to shield other drivers from glare. Think of it as the ultimate evolution of adaptive headlamps.
Ambient interior lighting – a feature once reserved for the top-dollar models in many automakers' ranges – is now becoming standard kit on a host of new vehicles. Ford, for example, offers ambient lighting on nearly its entire range of products, as do higher-end manufacturers like Audi and BMW. We've always found this to be a cool feature, if only as a nifty party trick to show your friends, but new studies show that ambient lighting actually enhances the perceived quality of interio
Racing fans were excited at the announcement that Singapore would join the 2008 Formula One calendar as the series' first night race. But it's one thing to make the announcement, quite another to actually pull it off.
Vehicular lighting is a crapshoot. Some vehicles offer a great swath of even coverage from their headlamps, while others make you feel like you're squinting through welding goggles at night. I went through the trouble to retrofit one of my cars with Cibié lamps running overwattage H4 bulbs. That effort required a couple hundred dollars of parts, a good amount of labor to wire up relays and triggers, and not everyone is willing to expend such time and money, even if it means you won't over
Whenever a vehicle is operating, all the electrical systems need power and that power comes from the alternator. The alternator is driven by a belt from the engine and, like anything else driven off the engine, the alternator puts a load on the engine that consumes power. Any power consumed by the various accessory drives is not available to move the vehicle. In order to maintain vehicle performance while adding accessory loads, more power is needed which means more fuel burned.
If the Ford Mustang's MyColor instrument panel lighting amuses you, then the announcement of a licensing agreement between the automaker and Colour Kinetics should further expand the joy. The deal allows Ford to legally use "intelligent color-controlled systems" both in the interior and on the exterior of vehicles around the world.
It's a scene we've seen hundreds of times in movies – predators emerging from the shadows in a dimly lit parking garage. It used to be that you could look for the cigarrette ember so you could meet up with Deep Throat, but Raleigh, North Carolina has beat back the shadows as it became the first LED City. Parking garages in Raleigh have seen their standing with the public improve since LED lighting systems replaced the old high pressure sodium lighting. The whiter, brighter illumination led
Australian federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced plans for a national switch from incandescent bulbs to more efficient technology such as compact fluorescent bulbs in a bid to save enormous amounts of electricity. Inefficient standard light bulbs use approximately five times as much electricity to produce the same amount of light as compact fluorescent bulbs.