Lighting and signaling functions are key factors for road safety and driving comfort at night. Night-time traffic represents 20 % of total mileage, but generates more than 50 % of fatalities. This percentage is even nigher in adverse weather conditions.
New developments are being proposed to improve safety when driving at night. Systems which take account of environmental factors modify the beam pattern in accordance with driving conditions. Automatic beam modification is one of several projects grouped together in the wider approach known as Intelligent lighting. This approach differs from current vehicle lighting techniques which, being based on legal and regulatory requirements, entail design and testing in static conditions.
Intelligent lighting involves electronic data acquisition and processing, with the target of altering the shape, the relative intensity, the aim and the direction of the headlamps in accordance with the prevailing conditions. These external conditions include rain, fog, speed, road geometry and traffic density.
This highly innovative lighting system requires homologation by the existing laws and regulations, which is currently under review.