Have you seen Audi’s new headlights? The ones that change brightness due to the conditions? Well, you won’t be seeing them anytime soon in the United States thanks to a 1968 headlight rule that requires cars to have both high and low beam settings.
Audi’s new headlights, which will be available on the new Audi A8, adjust their brightness based on cameras and sensors placed around the car. The headlights detect oncoming traffic, road conditions, and even pedestrians, and automatically adjust to the conditions.
Anupam Malhotra, the manager for the connected vehicle for Audi of America, said that the matrix-beam LED lighting system allows drivers to use high beams at all times. The system detects oncoming traffic and automatically adjusts to make sure that the lights do not interfere with other drivers.
According to Yahoo News, the standard Audi A8 will come with normal headlights but potential buyers can upgrade to the matrix-beam LED lighting. Well, buyers outside of the United States.
The company is currently working with BMW and General Motors to change the 1968 headlight rule so that they can sell their new technology in the United States.
Stephan Berlitz, Audi’s head of lighting innovations, said: “Lighting technology changed dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years. It’s difficult to do all these innovative things in this regulation from 1968.”
Here’s a video about Audi’s lighting system.
Audi will be lobbying to change the 1968 headlight law but they may find it hard to convince congress to change the outdated law unless they can provide proof that the new system makes driver’s more safe on the road.
Joan Claybrook, a former NHTSA administrator, told Yahoo News: “A lighting system that dims, I’m not sure that’s going to be No. 1 on their list.”