100 years ago, road traffic safety changed forever when automotive components company Bosch introduced the first electric headlights. Today, GM and Opel are at the forefront of the ever increasing improvement to headlight technology and road traffic safety.
Opel’s Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+) systems, available in a wide range of Opel vehicles, features up to ten headlight functions for a varying range of driving conditions. The variable Xenon headlamp beam automatically adapts to the driving situation, adjusting the distribution of the light beam depending on road and weather conditions with varying brightness for city driving, pedestrians, highways and country roads. The direction and intensity of the beam also self-adjusts depending on the steering angle and speed of the vehicle. And things continue to push forward.
Opel’s next generation headlight system, called LED matrix, provides glare-free high beam lighting that is constantly self-adjusting for varying driving situations. When lights from oncoming traffic are detected, individual LED’s are deactivated while the road remains constantly illuminated, preventing glare in the other drivers eyes.
Opel says it has been “intensively testing” the new headlight technology in prototypes. A study done by the Technical University of Darmstadt found that the LED matrix system allows drivers to spot objects on the side of the road 1.3 seconds faster at 80 km/h than what would be possible with xenon lighting.
“This is a good 30 meter difference,” says Ingolf Schneider, Supervisor of Lighting Technology at Opel, “That almost equals the braking distance required to come to a standstill from 100 km/h.” Opel says the LED matrix technology will be gradually rolled out across its model lineup over the next few years.