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US approval for smart headlights has a catch: They can’t be too bright

The federal government this week approved the use of adaptive driving headlights, bringing the United States in line with a standard that has been in place around the world for decades.

Light technology gives drivers the ability to drive essentially anywhere, anytime, while the beam continuously reshapes itself to avoid blinding oncoming drivers. However, the ruling comes with a caveat: The lights will have to be dimmer, for example, than those used in Europe, due to a standard set in the United States in the 1970s.

The approval, Tuesday from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, came 18 months earlier than required by a section of the recently passed infrastructure act.

ADB headlights was available in almost every country except the United States, where separate high and low beams were the mandatory standard. Manufacturers will also soon be able to offer this advanced headlight system to American drivers.

However, the ADB system authorized by the federal agency will not be the same as that used in the rest of the world. While the infrastructure bill calls for the standard to be approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers, similar to the system used in most other countries, the body has revised it, cited in 326 page rule a decision of the Supreme Court giving them the right to do so.

The problem, according to one lighting expert, is that while American vehicles may soon be equipped with headlights that use dynamic reshaping high beams to combat glare, their light performance still cannot. exceeds the standards set in the 1970s, i.e. by a fraction of the light. globally permissible intensity.

Daniel Stern, chief editor of Driving Vision News, a global technical journal on vehicle lighting and driver assistance systems, said: “Driving beam technology adapts to the rest of the world. can increase visibility and reduce glare. .

“The United States has ignored an archaic limit on high beam intensity since the late 1970s,” said Mr. Stern. “It’s an island of regulation.”

Given the length of the report, very few people had a chance to learn its contents. Both General Motors and the Society of Automotive Engineers reserve judgment on the new smart headlights rules.

Automakers who have installed decommissioned ADB lights in their vehicles also don’t know how or whether the lights will meet the new government standard.

“We are encouraged by the fact that the verdict has been reached,” said Mark Dahncke, communications director for Audi America. “We are now assessing the impact on our current and future lighting systems. We look forward to delivering ADB lighting to our customers as soon as possible.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/business/us-approves-smart-headlights.html US approval for smart headlights has a catch: They can’t be too bright

Fry Electronics Team

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