As technology has progressed in the world around us, there is no surprise that car’s become more advanced, and cooler than ever. Less than two decades ago we were shuffling through our CD albums trying to pick out our favorite Eagles track as we cruised down the road, and now we simply sit in our car and our Bluetooth music automatically connects. Replacing printed out pages of MapQuest direction and foldable maps is turn-by-turn navigation. LED lights have taken over dull and yellow halogen bulbs, so it’s not shocking that cars have begun to have this cool safety feature: adaptive headlights.
What Are Adaptive Headlights?
The phrase “adaptive headlights” seems complicated and as if it could mean many things. Is the brightness adapting? Is this just a new way to say automatic headlights? But adaptive headlights are a relatively simple and innovative design. In an adaptive headlight, the internal components of the headlights adjust for certain conditions. They adjust to move in the direction your car is turning, not just the direction it is going in.
How It Works
The most basic way that adaptive headlights work is by adjusting according to the way you turn the steering wheel. They are also self-leveling, so they remaining constantly points towards the road ahead. This is essential when cresting over hills or large bumps that would cause the front-end of your car to be pointing more upwards than forward.
Why You Need It
Being a responsible and safe driver requires you to multitask. You must constantly focus on the road ahead of your, any hazards around you and the cars you share the road with. In addition to the road, you have to be on the lookout for pedestrians, animals or a stray, abnormally large tumbleweed rolling into your path. All of this is incredibly hard to do if you are unable to see. Well lit city lights and neighborhoods with street lamps are ideal for many drivers to see the world around you, but for a majority of roadways visibility comes almost exclusively, and most consistently, from your car.
Because headlights can’t read your mind – but that would be really cool – they have only ever been able to do one thing. That one thing is…just to pretty much point in one, fixed direction that is beneficial to the driver the majority of the time. With adaptive cruise control, the headlights still can’t read your mind, but they can do the next best thing: anticipate where your eyes need to be by following the steering wheel’s motion and self-leveling to remain on the road ahead.
Adaptive headlights are an incredibly underrated necessity, and while you may not have realized how much you needed them in the past, you will certainly be more inclined to pay attention to these moments in the future.
Adaptive headlights seem like something right out of an 80s sci-fi movie about the future. Not only do they add that special ‘cool’ tech feel to your new ride, but they also make the roads safer for you and everyone else around. While they are most common now in luxury cars such as Audi and BMW, there is no doubt that they will become a standard feature among many more brands.