Cooley On Cars
Smarter driver: Adaptive headlights, irritation or innovation?Brian Cooley looks at swiveling headlight and what they accomplish.
[MUSIC] adaptive front lighting systems or these swiveling headlights that some cars have have been clearly linked to lower insurance claims on cars that have them and also been proven to give drivers earlier. Detection of objects ahead on the road. Yet a lot of folks think that these swiveling lights create more glare when the other guy has them, and they still remain pretty rare on a lot of cars. [MUSIC] Let's find out what's going on. In October 2014, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had 20 sample participants view cars with oncoming headlights of different types. And rate the visual pain if you will on what's called the De Boer Visual Discomfort Index. Now high intensity discharge headlights are really bright white ones like we have here rated higher than standard headlights as you might imagine on that discomfort scale. But not in the realm of being unacceptable. What's interesting is the swiveling or adaptive front lighting system headlight. Did not rate meaningfully higher than ones that are fixed dead ahead. Another finding by the IIHS is that these swiveling adaptive headlights can allow a driver to spot something as soon as a third of a second sooner on a curve. Curved road. That can translate to let's say 15 feet sooner detection of a pedestrian let's say when you're driving at 30 miles an hour. BMW and Lexus were among the first brands I encountered with these adaptive front lighting systems almost ten years ago back in the 2004 model yeah. Now, 10 plus years later,. They're still, kinda, rare. As of 2014, 14% of models of cars, that were offered in the market, had them standard. 22% had them optional, still, in the minority of the market. So adapter front lighting, despite its documented benefits, and apparent livability,. Still remains in the luxury tech category, not the you must offer it safety tech category. Next time you buy a car it pays to double check if it offers these headlights that give you a bit of an edge. [MUSIC] More realities of modern driving revealed now at CNETOnCars.com. Click on Smarter Driver. [MUSIC]