Driving at night can be a bit unnerving on unlit roads, since potential hazards can be difficult to see. Ford has revealed that its engineers are working on new advanced headlights that use radar and infra-red camera systems to detect pedestrians and animals that may be in a vehicle’s path. Traditional headlights can only show a part of the road ahead, which may not fully illuminate potential hazards, but Ford’s new headlights use radar and camera systems to detect everything front of the vehicle and making it easier for the driver to take action before something bad happens.
The camera-based front lighting system uses GPS information and a forward-facing video camera to ensure that the driver is alerted quickly about animals or people that are in the vehicle’s intended path. The system also uses GPS information to anticipate and illuminate bends and dips in the road, while the video camera that can detect lane markings. The camera also stores all this information in the navigation system, so the lights will be prepared to shine the next time the driver chooses the same route.
There’s also an infra-red camera mounted in the front of the vehicle that can locate and track up to eight people and bigger animals, including larger dogs, up to 400 feet ahead. The system can spotlight two hazards for the driver with a spot and a stripe on the road surface, illuminated by two special LED lights next to the fog lights. The highlighted objects are also displayed on the screen inside the car, marked in a red or yellow frame. These warnings give the driver additional time to react to potential hazards.
Ford has not announced when the technology will be available.