Larger Ford models to introduce new headlight technology that can angle beams away from oncoming vehicles; it'll feature on smaller models in the future
21 March 2016

Ford has developed new glare-free high beam technology that enables drivers to take full advantage of their headlights’ capability without affecting oncoming vehicles.

The headlight technology features a camera mounted to the windscreen that senses the headlights and rear lights of other vehicles on the road, including cyclists, up to 800 metres away. The headlight system then angles the light away in order to avoid temporarily blinding other road users.

Developed by a global team of Ford engineers and supplier partners, the technology works alongside Ford’s adaptive LED headlights and its auto high beam system. This system adjusts headlight beam angle and intensity according to speed, ambient light, steering angle, distance to the vehicle in front and windscreen wiper activation.

Glare-free high beam is available now for the new S-Max and Galaxy. The technology will also be offered on the recently unveiled Edge SUV.

Speaking to Autocar, Ford said the technology is being made available on its largest cars first, with a view to adding it to its smaller models in the future. However, nothing has yet been confirmed.

The AA commended Ford's introduction of this system, with president Edmund King OBE adding: “Road users being dazzled by the use of vehicle full beam is an increasing problem in the UK and is said to be the cause of hundreds of road accidents and around 10 fatalities each year. It is testament to Ford for offering this advanced feature to their customers to help tackle the issue.”

Ford of Europe research engineer Michael Koherr added: “We found that some drivers are so concerned about dazzling other road users that they don’t use high beam at all. Ford’s glare-free high beam technology can remove that stress for drivers and help maximise the use of high beam – without causing any distraction to other road users and softly transitioning between settings to help the driver’s eyes adjust faster to changing quantities of light.”

Ford is also in the process of developing lighting technology that improves visibility at roundabouts, as well as at stop and give way signs.

Audi uses a similar system in its latest laser headlights, but Ford's version could introduce the technology to more affordable car segments.

Danni Bagnall

Join the debate


21 March 2016

Sounds just like Audi Matrix LED lights (not just the laser ones).

21 March 2016

This isn't ground breaking technology, the Intelligent Light System on my wife's Mercedes GLA does this. She's had the car 2 years and I'm pretty sure it wasn't brand new technology then!

21 March 2016
Badgerman wrote:

This isn't ground breaking technology, the Intelligent Light System on my wife's Mercedes GLA does this.

Not quite. ILS adjusts the headlight beams (low beam, high beam, foglights, cornering lights, etc) to provide optimal lighting conditions for the driver, but does nothing to assist oncoming vehicles. The GLA system is also relatively more basic than larger MB models, which have more LED light units to play with.

21 March 2016

That dash layout makes so much sense. Stick the screen on top and then put the vents either side. Don't know why more car makers dont do this. Its far preferable to a stick on screen on top of the dash or a screen tucked under vents.

21 March 2016

Actually disco.stu, you're wrong about the ILS. I had it on both my C-class 4 years ago and my E-class Coupe after that. It automatically dips the beam at any sign of another car's headlights or taillights, so it's not just for the driver at all. I believe the CLS now has an even more impressive set of skills that direct high beam light around the oncoming or preceding vehicle, thus retaining high beam but not at the cost of the cars around. As somebody previously said, this isn't revolutionary at all. I figure this is just a story written by a temp at Autocar who has no idea this technology has been around for years now. Fair play they got an AA quote to go with it but in reality this is a nothing story, hence why it's not even credited with a name. Full marks for going beyond the story but zero for understanding what the car industry already has.

22 March 2016

It has varied from model to model in recent years, but High Beam Assist was usually a separate option to ILS – particularly on lower-level models like the GLA. As Mercedes moves from xenon to LED, it is becoming more and more integrated.

21 March 2016

Yeah right, virtually all these so called high beam assist, adaptive full beam, anti-dazzle headlights etc, etc, cause dazzle, in fact it's funny, but all the people that say they don't dazzle, have auto dimming mirrors. If you look at the promo pics, there's a big dark shadow in front of the vehicle, you would only get that because a very bright light is cast onto it. Full beam assist, only switches off a second or so after you have already dazzled the driver coming towards you, or longer on a brow of a hill and if your following a vehicle that is a fair way away, it doesn't dip, even though you will be annoying the hell out of them. Roads with hedges, corners etc, a pain in a truck, being so high, twits coming towards you with full beam on, don't dip them because it can't see your lights, even though the truck drivers being blinded. If you drive a truck, they are an absolute pain, from the front and rear (4 very big mirrors, that don't dim), if you don't believe me, go out in a truck and you'll experience it for yourself. Then there's the rain in the dark, massive glare from the lights on the road surface :o(

It is illegal to dazzle other road users, I was taught to dip the beam before you actually physically saw the headlights of the vehicle coming towards you, not anymore, many people either dip them after they have already dazzled you, or, leave them on, even after you flash your full beam at them, to dip them :0(. Have you noticed all the drivers on the motorway and dual carriageways, who drive on full beam all the time. Worst thing about it, when you flash for them to dip their headlights, most just ignore it (if someone is flashing their full beam at you, it means your dazzling them, even if you think your not, because you've got the latest anti-dazzle full beam headlights, so dip them please).

That's before you take into consideration all the idiots driving around with illegal xenon HiD kits in headlights that were never designed for such bright outputs and then they top it off by also having the fog lights on as well.

New Volvo and Mercedes cars seem to be the worst for dazzling. So how do these lights pass uk legislation ? I'm all for technology and making driving safer etc, but, Most drivers, drive very little in the dark, for relatively short periods, they may not encounter these new headlights that often, I drive over 100,000 miles a year, for a living, mostly at night and I'm fed up of these so called anti dazzle full beam headlights, they dazzle..


22 March 2016

Isn't that exactly the same as the LED Matrix lights available on the New Astra? Above 37 mph it drives with main beam on all the time, switching LED segments off as it 'sees' approaching vehicles or tail lights.

23 September 2016

I paid the extra to have the LED lights and I thought they were great.
As a wheelchair user it takes a lot of hard work for me out of night driving.
My right hand has control of the throttle and break and my left hand steers the car.
Using the dip switch was always difficult for me. so the auto dim lights was like have the birthday present you always wanted.
Ford have recalled the headlights and after having this recall done its terrible and I wonder if the garge have done something wrong.
Following a car there is a big black void in front of me and when an approching car passes the lights seem to swish left and right befor settling down.
I now think I have wasted all that extra money.

Is this a fault or is it the new anti dazzle that some drives wanted.

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