Light technology that could literally keep your eyes on the road | Technology

High-resolution front lights could provide information about what’s ahead to make night driving easier

Ford is testing a high-resolution headlight technology to help drivers keep their eyes on the road.

The front lights could provide information about what is ahead to facilitate night driving.

While the head-up display already helps drivers stay focused on the road ahead, Ford engineers are developing lamp technology that could help literally keep your eyes on the road.

The technology developed by Ford makes it possible to project directions, speed limits or weather information onto the road so that the driver can stay focused on driving.

Driving at night can be riskier. In the United Kingdom, 40% of collisions occur at night, when traffic is less dense there (Source: Road Safety Fact Sheet. https://www.rospa.com/media/documents/road-safety/factsheets/ driving-at-night-factsheet.pdf).

The risk increases when a driver takes his eyes off the road.

A vehicle traveling at 90 km/h travels 25 meters per second, so even a brief glance at the navigation system can cause blind driving for ten meters or more. On an unlit road, this can potentially cause the driver to miss an important sign or turn.

Projecting information onto the road via high-resolution front lights could also benefit other road users. A pedestrian crossing, for example, could be projected onto the road, so that it is visible to the driver and pedestrians in situations where the existing road markings are partially erased or barely visible.

It would also be possible to guide the driver by indicating the path to follow to overtake cyclists while maintaining a safe distance.

Road information projection technology could provide the driver with information about the future evolution of weather conditions on the road : falling snow, fog, slippery or icy road surfaces, etc.

Connecting the front lights to the navigation system could make it possible to display upcoming turns.

It would also be possible to project the width of the vehicle onto the road in order to help the driver determine whether or not the vehicle can pass through a given space or whether or not it will fit in a parking space.

The on-road image projection technology is currently being developed for trial purposes and is being tested in controlled environments.

The technology could be subject to different regulations depending on the market.

Lars Junker, Features and Software, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Ford of Europe explains: “What started as a game with a projector and a blank wall could take lighting technology to a whole new level. It is already possible to do much more than simply illuminate the road in front of the vehicle, in order to help reduce the stress involved in driving at night. The driver could get essential information without ever having to take his eyes off the road. »

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