Gadgets

Ford Are Working On Headlights That Can ‘See Around’ Corners

Until self-driving cars become the road-hogging norm, car manufacturers will continue to prioritise the comfort, safety and experience of the soft fleshy bit that sits behind the wheel - namely, you.

One bright piece of tech (sorry) from Ford is the 'Spot Light' system: a set of headlights that can "see" the road.

Hidden in the headlight array are a set of infra-red cameras, looking for warmer subjects that might enter the car's front-facing field of view, such as pedestrians, cyclists or rogue wildlife. When the camera detects a warm-bodied hazard, a set of LEDs adjust the position of their beam to pick out the area more clearly - in addition to displaying a feed of the infra-red camera on a dashboard-mounted display.

With an effective range of 120 metres, the in-car display will tag distant objects in yellow (a potential hazard) and closer objects in red (look lively). 

In addition to flagging exposed road users, the Spot Light system will also alter its beams to pick out road junctions: by looking for changes in the road along with known GPS location data, the headlights will shift to "look" round corners (a function that's featured on previous cars, but is often linked to movements of the steering wheel) and create a wider field of light when approaching junctions and roundabouts. 

The Spot Light feature joins Ford’s existing Traffic Sign Recognition technology, which can "read" road-signs, replicating information you might have missed on a sign on the an in-car display. 

Still in the development stage, Ford expect their new tech to roll onto roads in the "near term".

Until then, best stick to not driving light a tit.