Electronics and Semiconductors

Video: Ford tests augmented reality-ish headlights

19 August 2022

Ford Motors European division is testing how to incorporate navigation and other information into smart headlights.

The new headlights that are part of a trial project directions, speed limits, weather information and more directly onto the road, enabling the driver to see the information while keeping eyes on the road.

A vehicle traveling at 55 mph covers about 80 feet per second which does not give drivers much time to react to navigation or other information that can be found in a heads-up display or other technology inside the car. In the dark, this can be a problem and could end up with a driver missing a bend in the road or an important sign about the future road ahead, Ford said.

Project the information using high-resolution headlights could not just benefit the driver of the car but other road users too. At a crosswalk both a driver and a pedestrian could see existing road signs or markers that are faded or unclear. Or the headlights could show a path for the driver to follow when a cyclist is nearby.

“What started as playing around with a projector light and a blank wall could take lighting technologies to a whole new level,” said Lars Junker, engineer in the advanced driver assistance systems division of Ford Europe. “The driver could get essential information without ever needing to take their eyes off the road.”

Ford is looking to other possibilities for projection to make night driving easier such as including weather information or road conditions in the headlights. Navigation may be another possibility as well as helping drivers to judge if they can fit into a parking space.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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