Driving in the dark can be challenging, but Ford innovates to make the road easier for drivers to see. The company pioneered the use of traffic signals and lane markings as headlight beam adjustment signals to better illuminate the road, especially at intersections. Now engineers from Ford Research and Advanced Engineering Europe are testing technology that uses real-time location data to efficiently visualize the vehicle. The predictive smart headlight system directs beams into oncoming corners even before drivers see them, illuminating hazards and other road users more quickly and effectively.
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The advanced lighting system uses prototype GPS location data, advanced technologies, and high-precision street engineering information to accurately identify turns on the road. The algorithm calculates the vehicle’s trajectory and speeds to proactively adjust the direction of its headlights, providing optimal light coverage of curves and intersections, and even hazards that lurk around the corner.
If the vehicle encounters a stretch of road where location data is not available, the system will work in conjunction with camera-based steering and headlight dynamic flex technologies to continue to intelligently illuminate the road until they improve location data.
Researchers have widely used simulations of a “digital twin” that recreate the physical world in a virtual environment. The simulator accurately calculates how light falls and is reflected in the real world, allowing researchers to better visualize and improve technology for drivers.
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