Ford’s new tech could help make driving in the dark safer

Car driving in the dark during a winter snowstorm.

Do you like driving in the dark? If the answer is no, you’re not alone.

40% of all collisions happen in the hours of darkness, causing many drivers to feel unsafe when they’re on the road at night. Ford’s latest innovation, however, aims to provide a helping hand.

Supportive smart headlights

Ford is testing smart headlights that project directions, speed limits and weather information onto the road in front of you.

For example, if you were driving late at night or on a winter evening, and the road ahead was icy, the car would project a snowflake icon on the road. Or, if the speed limit changed, the new limit would be shone onto the ground while you’re driving.

The headlights could also project a range of icons onto the road, including zebra crossings and safe paths for cyclists, which would help drivers and other road users.

If you connect the headlights to a navigation system, you may be able to see upcoming turns, roundabouts or merging traffic, helping you drive more smoothly as a result.

Lifting a weight off your shoulders

According to RoSPA – The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents: “the most obvious danger of night driving is decreased visibility.

It explains: “the distance a driver can see is shortened and so hazards can often seem to appear out of nowhere.

“It also takes time for the eyes to adjust to the darkness after being in a lit building or after driving on a well-lit road.”

Ford’s smart headlights could, as a result, be a big support to drivers.

Lars Junker, features and software, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Ford of Europe, said: “’What started as playing around with a projector light and a blank wall could take lighting technologies to a whole new level.

“There’s the potential now to do so much more than simply illuminate the road ahead, to help reduce the stress involved in driving at night.”

It is, however, unclear when the technology will be ready to be rolled out, or how much it might cost.

See why Ford was named the UK’s favourite car brand earlier this year.

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