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New headlight shines where you look

High-tech Opel headlamps will shine in the direction the drivers eyes are pointing.

High-tech Opel headlamps will shine in the direction the drivers eyes are pointing.

Published Apr 10, 2015

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Russelsheim, Germany - Opel is developing a new type of headlight that tracks the movement of your eyes and then shines in the direction you are looking at.

The high-tech feature will form part of Opel’s adaptive headlights in the near future and will probably be extended across the General Motors family eventually.

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The system employs a camera to read the driver’s face more than 50 times a second, detecting the movements of the eyes and nose to determine the driver’s line of sight. The system translates this information into data commands for electronically-controlled actuators that align the vehicle’s headlights.

NATURAL MOVEMENT

The tricky part was dealing with the fact that a driver’s eyes tend to constantly jump from one focal point to another during normal driving, meaning that the headlights would move erratically if they followed the driver’s eye movements exactly. Opel’s engineers solved this by using a delay algorithm to ensure a natural movement for the light path. The headlights will automatically point in the direction of the vehicle if the driver takes their eyes off the road.

Opel has yet to confirm when these eye-tracking headlights will be launched, but the German firm already has some clever technology in its third-generation adaptive headlight system available now. Called AFL+, these “intelligent” headlamps include a cornering function and can adjust their direction and intensity depending on the road situation. A forward-facing camera detects other cars ahead and automatically dims the high beams.

Opel is also planning to introduce matrix LED headlights, as already used in some luxury marques, that can “curve” around other vehicles, ie. that don’t blind other road users while still brightly illuminating the rest of the road.

Star Motoring

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