No more blinding high beams

TOYOTA is developing new headlight technology that can point high beam at the road ahead without blinding oncoming traffic.

The technology, which is still a couple of years away from production, uses shutters to create a black spot in front of the oncoming car, while continuing to illuminate the rest of the road and footpath.

The lights also work when the car is following another, sensing the tail-lights and blocking the beam from the car ahead.
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Toyota says the technology has the potential to reduce the number of pedestrians killed by cars.

The company says one in four traffic-accident fatalities involve pedestrians and about seven out of 10 of those fatalities occur at night.

The company's new Camry mid-size car now has an earlier form of adaptive high-beam technology on the range-topping SL model.

The company says it is working on teething problems for the system, including trying to eliminate false readings where traffic lights, streetlights and reflectors on roadside signposts trick the lights into switching off high beam.

Toyota is also working on a pedestrian detection system that can bring the car to a complete stop if it detects an imminent collision with a pedestrian at speeds of up to 40km/h.

Another safety feature likely to appear on new Toyotas in coming years is a more sophisticated lane-departure system that will brake and steer the car away from oncoming traffic as well as roadside barriers or trees.

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