Ford is developing a way to make driving safer at night, particularly in unlit roads. Currently in the testing phase, Ford’s new Camera-Based Advanced Front Lighting System (their caps, not mine) uses a clever combination of active headlamp reflectors, GPS, and cameras to make sure light is shown the areas you need it the most.
Using a front-facing camera, the car continuously scans the road ahead. It will automatically widen the headlight beams at intersections and rotundas to better illuminate hazards that aren’t in the direction of travel. Integrated into this system is New Spot Lighting technology that helps draw a driver’s attention to pedestrians, cyclists, and even large animals in the vehicle’s path or just off the road. It uses body heat to single them out and displays this information on the dashboard. It can even mark a potential hazard based on the possibility of it hitting the vehicle. Along with the camera, Ford has integrated the GPS module so the headlights can adapt to the course of roads automatically.
The system, which is in pre-production phase, can track up to eight objects at distances up to 120 meters. According to Ford, this increases reaction times by a couple of seconds thereby reducing the chance of an accident.
This Camera-Based Advanced Front Lighting System builds upon the other camera or light-based safety devices found in some Ford models including Adaptive Front Lighting System and Traffic Sign Recognition.