Ford Trials Headlight Technology to Project Directions on to the Road

Ford engineers are trialling new headlight technology that projects directions, speed limits and weather information on to the road to ensure the driver’s gaze remains focused.

In the UK, 40 percent of collisions happen in the dark, even though there are fewer vehicles than in the daytime. This risk increases when a driver takes their eyes off the road, which can result in missing an important sign, obstacle or a bend in the road.

Ford Headlight Technology
The new technology can project directions, speed limits or weather information onto the road so the driver’s gaze can remain fixed on the way ahead

To minimise these risks, Ford’s new technology connects the vehicle’s headlights to the navigation system to display information such as upcoming turns. The system also projects the width of the vehicle on to the road to help the driver judge whether it will fit through a gap or into a parking space.

Furthermore, this technology could further improve safety by warning the driver about changes in weather, such as fog, slippery conditions or an icy road.

Lars Junker, Features and Software, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Ford of Europe said:

“What started as playing around with a projector light and a blank wall could take lighting technologies to a whole new level. There’s the potential now to do so much more than simply illuminate the road ahead, to help reduce the stress involved in driving at night. The driver could get essential information without ever needing to take their eyes off the road.”

Ford notes that projecting information on to the road using high-resolution headlights could also benefit other road users. For example, a crosswalk could be projected on to the road, or a path could be highlighted for the driver to follow when passing a cyclist at a safe distance.

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