► New active headlamp tech explained
► Available on S-Max, Galaxy, Edge
► Intelligent shutters adjust light beam
Ford is launching new active headlamp technology called Glare-free Highbeam on its top-end S-Max, Galaxy and Edge models to avoid dazzling other road users.
New advances in lighting know-how make it easier for manufacturers to offer active systems, which can intelligently shape the pattern of the beam to maximise illumination of the road and its environs while blocking out the piercing light of modern headlights facing oncoming traffic.
How Ford's Glare-free Highbeam works
Essentially, these systems let you drive around on full beam permanently, while an electronic brain takes data from onboard cameras to calculate where not to light up.
The system works with LEDs, making it easier to activate individual diodes and therefore control the shape and intensity of the beam pattern. Ford's lights are constantly switching between one of seven pre-determined settings depending on the ambient light, driver steering inputs, distance to the car in front and even whether it's raining.
End result? The headlamps automatically manipulate the throw of the light, casting a shadow across other vehicles up to 800m away to avoid blinding drivers and cyclists. It's clever tech and Ford's video explainer above cleverly illustrates how the new system works.
Our long-term test Audi TT coupe uses a similar technology and we rate it highly. If you live in a rural area, it's a tech we'd definitely consider investing in.
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