Real Life, But in HD: Ford unveils headlight tech that visually projects road information, speed limits

Toronto, Ontario — Ford is imagining a new driving experience where one never has to take their eyes off the road thanks to a new piece of technology that can project directions, speed limits and weather conditions onto the road through a vehicle’s headlights.

Dubbed “high-resolution headlights,” the legacy automaker unveiled the new tech in a test video released to Ford’s European YouTube channel on Monday, in which a Ford vehicle is depicted winding corners under nightfall, while changing speed limits, directional arrows and weather alerts appear in real-time on the road ahead.

Ford’s blog post accompanying the release of the video pointed out that “a vehicle traveling at 90 km/h covers 25 metres per second, meaning even a short glance at the navigation on the in-car screen can result in ‘driving blind’ for ten metres or more. In the dark, on an unlit road, this could potentially mean missing an important sign or a bend in the road.”

The company also touts the safety benefits to pedestrians and cyclists that this technology could serve, as it is capable of projecting an image of a crosswalk to alert a driver, as well as showing a path to follow for safely passing a cyclist.

“What started as playing around with a projector light and a blank wall could take lighting technologies to a whole new level. The driver could get essential information without ever needing to take their eyes off the road,” said Lars Junker, a development engineer in Ford Europe’s Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems division.

The blog post goes on to say that Ford engineers continue to work on additional applications for the “high-resolution headlights” technology, including the ability to visually project whether a vehicle can fit into a parking spot, or even “potential entertainment applications.”

What do you think of Ford’s new “high-resolution headlights?” Should this replace the traditional heads-up display? Can they compliment each other? Or is this technology all flash? Sound off in the comments below.


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