Leave it to Mercedes Benz to develop an automobile feature that you never knew you needed.
At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, the German luxury carmaker announced that a headlight concept it had demoed a decade ago was ready for primetime.
While car tech has been developing at an extremely rapid pace, the humble headlight has largely remained a one-trick pony. But soon-to-be-released in certain 2018 Maybachs, “Digital Light” is being described by Mercedes as “revolutionary headlamp technology.” Here’s what it does:
Besides offering resolution of one million pixels plus per headlamp – which improves clarity, big time – the new technology is designed to use headlights to project symbols onto the road in front of the driver to provide alerts and assistance, utilizing a combined approach of both sensors and GPS. For example, if you’re driving through a construction zone, an icon will appear to let you know to be on the lookout. Similarly, it can identify nearby pedestrians — even slippery, weather-related road conditions. Digital Light can also provide lines to help you stay in your lane.
One of my favorite features, because I am terrible at judging this, is how it can shine lights that are the exact length of your vehicle, so you don’t have to guess whether or not that parking space is big enough.
The other significant benefit of Digital Light is the way its sensors can detect both windshields and faces ahead, which helps the programmable lights know when to dim and not blind those oncoming eyeballs automatically.