Those who are used to driving in the dark know how risky a simple glance at the dashboard can be to cause an accident. A pedestrian, a bicycle or an animal has arrived so quickly…
In recent years, automakers have used ingenuity to maximize headlight illumination to reduce the stress of driving in the dark. Some road users who own a high-end vehicle can already rely on technology that can project useful information onto a vehicle’s windshield to aid the driver’s view.
However, in the near future, a new technology could offer us new type of headlights that are even more valuable for road safety.
This technology is being tested by the European division of the Ford company and, if it works, drivers like us will be able to drive around in the evening and at night with full awareness of what is on the road.
Welcome to Hi-Res Lighthouses
I am talking here about high-resolution headlights that have the ability to project all the information directly onto the roadway that would normally require the driver to take his eyes off the road to seek his information elsewhere.
On the road, therefore, the driver who will benefit from this technology will be able to see displayed in front of him, in images or symbols, indications of directions, speed limits, weather information or information on the state of the road. .
The driver will see, for example, a pictogram announcing that he is approaching a roundabout; the symbol of a bend to indicate that it is approaching, otherwise a snowflake to indicate that the road is icy. Or, he may see the number 70 displayed to indicate that he is in a 70 km/h zone. So much information that will allow the driver to keep his eyes straight ahead, fixed on his driving lane.
And even if the car is stopped, the high-resolution headlights can give other valuable indications. For example, they will be able to project images of a pedestrian crossing which, in the dark, can no longer be seen using the existing road markings. The same goes for the corridors reserved for bicycles, which will be illuminated so that cyclists are well lit and find themselves more secure.
The information could go even further, because the current tests also provide that the headlights can project the width of the vehicle to the ground. This information may be useful when the time comes to park in a restricted space, or to find out if it is possible to pass with this vehicle on a narrower road than usual.
In short, so many indications that will allow vehicle drivers and other road users to share the lane in a much less dangerous way.
A new way to reduce accidents
Tests of evening and night driving have been carried out in Europe and it appears that in the UK 40% of all collisions occur when it is dark, even if evening and night far fewer vehicles travel on the roads than in broad daylight.
We should not be surprised if we consider that, in a vehicle traveling at 90 km/h, if a driver takes his eyes off the road to simply glance at his screen, he will no longer see the road over an extent of 10 meters, minimum. And on these 10 meters, he can miss a bend, a very important sign or an animal that suddenly arrives.
For the moment, these headlights have not been installed on any car model and are still in the stage of tests carried out in controlled environments. To date, no indication has been given of Ford’s intentions for mass production. That said, you should know that other manufacturers are also working on their side to develop similar headlights, in particular on the side of Mercedes and Volkswagen, and could quickly arrive on the market.
Regardless of which manufacturer they come from, it can be said that with these headlights, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists will find themselves winners after dark.
That said, I also see a final advantage that should not be overlooked either, that of helping to overcome drowsiness at the wheel by sending a regular display which will materialize in as many alerts to our brain. At night, a blink that stretches in length also happened so quickly…
This year marks the 9e edition of the Bowvember campaign for the benefit of Procure, the only organization in Quebec dedicated entirely to helping men with prostate cancer and their families.
I discovered the Procure organization thanks to my friend Jean Pagé, who played a crucial role in breaking taboos around prostate cancer. Much more than our passion for sport, what I keep are the values that Jean personified during his life. Procure’s values are John’s values. His love for human beings, his compassion to reassure and find solutions to the challenges that arose in his personal life, as well as at work, and his courage.
I’m sure many of you have stories similar to mine since in Quebec alone, 12 men a day are diagnosed with this disease. November is the time to support the cause by ordering your bow tie during the #NOEUDVEMBRE campaign on the Procure website. Thank you for helping men and families affected by prostate cancer.