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Ford's high-tech lighting system makes driving at night safer

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Ford is in the midst of developing a couple of advanced front-lighting technologies designed to prevent collision and keep drivers safe at night. The first one called "camera-based advanced front lighting system" takes two of the automaker's older technologies -- adaptive lighting system and traffic sign recognition -- and transforms them into something better. It can interpret traffic signs and use GPS info to widen the headlights' reach at roundabouts. In the absence of GPS data, it uses cameras to detect lane markings and move the car's high beams according to the road's curvature, or to spot dips in the road to illuminate them better.

The second technology called "Spot Lighting" is especially useful when driving in residential locations with no street lights. It uses an infrared camera attached to the vehicle's grille to detect people and large animals on the road through their body heat. The high beams can shine a spotlight on up to eight pedestrians, cyclists and canines walking their human companions, but the system can also highlight them with yellow boxes on the in-car entertainment screen. Ford's still not done making the Spot Lighting technology, but its camera-based front lighting system is ready to be deployed in the near future.

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