Thumbs up for smart lights

The European Commission is proposing to allow manufacturers to install adaptive front-lighting systems to automobiles.


The European Commission is proposing to allow manufacturers to install adaptive front-lighting systems into automobiles.


Adaptive Front-lighting Systems (AFS) themselves are ‘smart’ headlamp systems that can adapt themselves to particular road or traffic environments. Using advanced sensing systems, the beam pattern of the headlamp can be automatically changed depending on whether a vehicle is being used on town roads, country roads or on motorways.


The only way that manufacturers are currently allowed to use these ‘clever’ lights is by going through a complex ‘special exemptions’ procedure which is designed to allow new technologies to be deployed that are not covered by existing regulations.


The European Commission now intends to adopt new United Nations regulations which will allow the AFS systems to be used in EU Member States. Once these regulations are integrated into the so-called European Community Type Approval system, special exemptions will no longer be required and the approval process will become more straightforward for both vehicle and headlamp manufacturers.


The move is still subject to approval by the European Parliament and the European Council.


The current proposal is available at:


http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/automotive/pagesbackground/entr_1520_2005_en.pdf