Ford announces new predictive lighting system in ‘next step’ for road safety

Ford introduce their new predictive smart headlights

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The technology uses real-time GPS location data to accurately identify turns in the road ahead. A complicated algorithm then calculates the trajectory and speed of the vehicle and will adjust the direction of headlights to match

This will give drivers the optimal light coverage of junctions and any hazards which may be hidden around the corner.

Ford says the tool will continue to work even when location data is not available.

The system will then work alongside an onboard camera to intelligently light the road until the signal improves.

Researchers say they have made use of simulation technology which recreates the physical world in a virtual environment.

This has been used to accurately calculate how light falls and reflects in the real world before being introduced to the car.

A new graphic by Ford shows how the new predictive smart headlights see a wider range than normal headlights.

This means the lights are scanning for hazards which cannot be detected by normal cars or even human eyes.

Ford says the new tool will “guide drivers through the dark” and is expected to become a major feature in some of the bands new models going forwards.

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Michael Koherr, Ford European lighting research engineer said the new technology is the “next step” to boost road safety.

He said: “The predictive lighting technology we are developing now means that one day driving in the dark could be as simple as just following your headlights.

“This new map-and location‑based system is the next step on our quest to make driving at night no more difficult or stressful as during the day.”

In 2018 Ford became the first brand to introduce lighting which reads road signs and lane markings.

The tool was fitted on the new Ford Focus and claims to “react more quickly” than driver steering inputs.

The old tool wanted to avoid reliance on GPS systems which they say does not accurately reflect road layouts in many areas.

A survey conducted by Ford at the time found 81 percent of drivers are scared to drive after dark,

In a separate German poll, 53 percent said not seeing pedestrians or cyclists was their biggest fear when travelling in the dark.

Experts say the risk of being involved in a fatal crash is three times higher at night.

Speaking in 2018, Mr Koherr said: “The dream is that night driving need be no more difficult than driving in the day.

“Our latest lighting technologies are part of our plan to make that a reality.

“Across Europe 15 percent of road layouts change every year.

“Amazingly useful as GPS is, using signs to read the road offers the most up-to-date information you can get.”

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