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Toyota Wants Headlight Laws Changed To Save Lives

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Headlights are some of the most closely-regulated components on a modern automobile, which makes perfect sense considering how important of a safety role that they play. That being said, some car companies are complaining to the NHTSA in the United States that current rules are holding back the development of advanced headlight technologies that could further enhance the security of North American roads.

Specifically, an Automotive News article details how Toyota is petitioning the NHTSA to allow its automatic headlight control feature to be legalized in the U.S. Currently, Toyota sells thousands of cars overseas with the system, which prevents oncoming cars from being blinded by the glare from high beam headlights by cutting a portion of the light being emitted. A system of cameras detects other vehicles in order to know when to make the adjustment.

Current rules allow for high beams to be switched on and off automatically, but the wording of the rules forbids 'dimming,' which is a feature of the Toyota system. This explains why Mercedes-Benz can offer its headlight assist technology, but Toyota's, which is based on masking a portion of the light emitted, is banned. Toyota claims that it could save at least 9 pedestrian lives per year by implementing the system in the U.S. and preventing other drivers from being affected by headlight glare.

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