Does driving on unlit roads at night fill you with dread? Ford’s new headlight technology could be your saviour.
Using GPS tracking data to predict bends in the road, the new adaptive tech is designed to help drivers see round bends in the dark, making it safer to drive at night.
The innovation comes as promising news for anyone nervous of driving in the dark, and is hoped to lower fatality rates on unlit roads.
According to an AA survey of 16,000 motorists, half of UK drivers feel some level of anxiety about driving in the dark. A quarter say they feel nervous using unfamiliar routes at night, while another fifth feel unsafe on all unlit roads after dark.
Encountering wild animals like deer, badgers and foxes is the third biggest worry around driving in the dark, according to the survey.
However, fears of driving in the dark are not without reason. As statistics from Stephenson’s show, there are roughly 40% more fatal accidents on the roads at night than during daylight hours – even with 60% less traffic.
But what if technology could curb the danger?
Ford engineers are testing improved headlights using real-time data to help drivers navigate dark roads.
The predictive system uses GPS signals, together with your car’s speed and trajectory to change the position of the headlight beam, lighting up hazards, bends and road markings as you drive.
If location data can’t be reached, the car will use forward-facing cameras to watch for lane marking until the signal improves.
Michael Koherr, Ford European lighting research engineer has high hopes that this new system will transform the way we drive at night.
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.”
Don’t feel confident using your car headlights? Check out 1st CENTRAL’s essential guide to car light and headlights to help you stay safe on the roads.