NHTSA May Allow Adaptive High-Beam Headlights

October 12, 2018 at 12:13 AM

A change in U.S. safety standards that would permit cars to be equipped with so-called adaptive driving beam headlights has been proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The agency already allows systems that automatically switch a vehicle’s headlights between high and low beams according to the presence of oncoming traffic.

Adaptive beam systems operate continuously in high-beam mode but dynamically block portions of their output to avoid causing glare for oncoming drivers. The result is better roadway illumination under all driving conditions.

Adaptive beam lamps are permitted in Europe and other overseas markets. But current U.S. standards don’t allow any headlamp system to operate continuously on high beams. NHTSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking to permit adaptive beams is in response to a petition made in 2013 by Toyota Motor Corp.