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Adaptive Headlights: How They Work

Most adaptive headlights systems also contain a self-levelling system. Self-levelling headlights have an added level sensor that concludes if the car is tilted back or forward. For instance, if a car is driving over a large bump, when the front of the car hits the bump, it lifts up. Standard headlights would momentarily point up into the sky until the rear of the car moved over the bump and the car resumed to a level position. You may have observed this if a car driving behind you at night passed over a bump, such as a railroad crossing. The other car's headlights would flash temporarily, as if the driver had blinked his or her high beams at you. This is really the car's headlights temporarily pointing up and into your eyes instead of down at the road. With a self-levelling system, electric servomotors respond to the level sensor and keep the headlights aimed down at the road, no matter the position of the car.

Self-levelling headlights are now required on new cars in Europe, and they are obligatory on all SA cars fitted with bi-xenon headlights. Bi-xenon lights are so bright that they would blind other drivers if they did not level themselves. Adaptive headlights are not yet regular equipment on most cars. In fact, only a few corporations even offer them as options. BMW offers optional adaptive headlights on all models, while 335, 535, 7-series and M-series contain them as standard equipment. Renault offers them as an option on some models, and the 2006 Volkswagen Passat contains them in the optional Luxury Package. Lexus, Audi and many high-end manufacturers also bid adaptive headlight packages.

Auto designers are industrialising several advances in headlight technology that should appear on production models in the next few years. Adaptive brake lights will let you see more than just the car in front of you applying the brakes. You will also know how hard the driver is applying the brakes, giving you a good sign of trouble onward or how much you yourself need to slow down. These brake systems will light up like normal brake lights below normal braking circumstances. Though, when someone presses on the brakes hard to make a more abrupt stop, the brake lights shine more luminously. The lighting is progressive; when someone actually stomps on the brakes, the very brightest brake light comes on, while minor degrees of braking force end in brightness in between ‘full stop’ and ‘normal’. If you are driving either an Audi or VW then this may interest you highly, if you may require new headlights for your car then please do not hesitate to contact Drew’s Auto Spares for more information.

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