TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Varroc Lighting Systems Inc. has engineered a lighting system called adaptive-drive beam that allows a vehicle's high beams to remain on all the time without blinding oncoming drivers.
The technology eliminates the need for the driver to manually switch from high and low beams while driving at night.
Varroc is the U.S. unit of India's Varroc Group and was formed from the $92 million acquisition of Visteon Corp.'s lighting division in 2012.
The new lighting system, called ADB, is adaptive to the environment, specifically the cluster of LED lights work in real time to turn on and off individual lights to avoid blinding other drivers. Scott Montessi, director of product development for Varroc Lighting, said six or seven of the nearly 40 LED-lights system are switched off to create a black-box effect around vehicles in the beam of light.
"We're in the middle of a renaissance for (automotive) lighting," Montessi said. "Lamps have been the same for nearly 60 years, but LEDs and new technologies are changing the landscape."
The ADB system uses existing cameras equipped on vehicles with advanced safety functions, such as lane-departure warning and emergency-braking systems, that can detect light coming from other vehicles.
Montessi said ADB, and other systems like organic light-emitting diode and laser-based systems, are taking a larger role in automotive safety. ADB provides the driver with nearly 100 feet or more of visibility over traditional automotive headlamps, providing the driver with 1-2 seconds more of reaction time, he said.
Varroc's ADB technology will be on European models starting next year.
Measnwhile, the supplier has joined a push to get U.S. regulators to adopt European standards for a new lighting technology.
Audi and Toyota Motor Corp. have been proponents of the technology. Toyota even petitioned the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate, or allow, ADB systems in the U.S.
Montessi said the U.S. regulations are expected to occur in the next 12-18 months.