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2013-03-01 07:01

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY: Volvo has developed headlights that remain permanently on high beam while adjustable shades block glare only from oncoming vehicles.

Volvo has made it possible to use its cars' high-beam continuously at night thanks to a clever mechanism that prevents the vision of oncoming drivers being affected.

The new Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 will be the first to benefit from the innovation that's claims to make night driving safer and more comfortable. The cars, along with the V70, XC70 and S80, will have their debuts at the 2013 Geneva auto show on March 5.

PERMANENT BEAM

Volvo’s senior safety technical specialist, Lotta Jakobsson, said: "Our aim was to make it possible to use high beam without having to switch to low beam when meeting or coming up behind other vehicles."

The whose traffic environment is illuminated by the high beam except for a specific section shaded for oncoming vehicles, including motorcycles. This, Volvo says, will help the driveto see parked cars, pedestrians and animals more clearly.

Jakobsson added: The technology makes driving at night more comfortable and safe. It also makes it easier to focus on the driving and is a great example of our ‘designed around you’ approach."

NO DAZZLING SPELLS

The same camera used for automatic braking doubles up for this function. The camera is on the rear-view mirror, at the top of the windscreen, to identify approaching vehicles and shade the headlight beam to avoid them.

“The control unit relays the information to an ingenious projector in the headlights. A tiny cylinder with metal pieces of different sizes shades just as much of the beam as necessary.”

The system  features xenon globes and is active from 15km/h.

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