In an effort to enhance driver safety, Ford engineers are undertaking trials for new headlight technology that could help ensure those behind the wheel literally keep their eyes on the road. The new technology can project directions, speed limits or weather information onto the road so the driver’s gaze can remain fixed on the way ahead.
The technology could provide the driver with information about changes in weather, such as snow falling, fog, slippery conditions, or an icy road ahead. The expectation is that by connecting the headlight to the navigation system could help display upcoming turns, while the width of the vehicle could be projected onto the road, helping the the driver to judge whether the vehicle will fit through a gap or into a parking space.
Projecting information onto the road using high-resolution headlights could benefit other road users too. For example, a crosswalk could be projected onto the road, both for the view of the driver and the pedestrian, in situations where the existing road markings are faded or unclear. Other possibilities include showing a path for the driver to follow to ensure cyclists are passed at a safe distance.
Ford also aims to make night-driving more comfortable with thehelp of these headlights. It targets helping drivers navigate more effectively even on unlit road where they may run the risk of potentially missing an important sign or a bend in the road.
Speaking about the trials, 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.”