US to allow new headlights that can tailor beams, not blind nearing drivers
The highway safety agency in the US is about to give a go-ahead to new high-tech headlights, called adaptive driving beam headlights, that can automatically tailor beams and focus on dark areas of the road, without blinding the oncoming drivers with an uncomfortable glare.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it issued a final rule allowing the high-tech headlights on new vehicles, which will go into effect when published in the Federal Register in the next few days. "This final rule will improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists by making them more visible at night, and will help prevent crashes by better illuminating animals and objects in and along the road," the agency said in a news release.
These new type of headlights come equipped with LED lamps that can focus beams on darkness such as the driver's lane and areas along the roadside. But when there's oncoming traffic, they lower the intensity of the light beams. The camera sensors in them help determine where the light should go. The rule to allow these headlights come as safety agency deals with a dramatic rise in traffic deaths nationwide.
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Technology in these light uses an array of light emitting diodes that can change where light beams are sent as compared to the current technology where high beams reach everywhere.
In US, the number of traffic deaths surged in the first nine months of 2021 to 31,720, keeping up a record pace of increased dangerous driving during the coronavirus pandemic. As an estimated, people dying in motor vehicle crashes from January to September 2021 was 12% higher than the same period in 2020. This represents the highest percentage increase over a nine-month period since the Transportation Department began recording fatal crash data in 1975. The total death tally of 31,720 was the highest nine-month figure since 2006.
(with inputs from AP)