Car headlights and their performance are crucial to driving safety; the better the road ahead can be illuminated, the lower the risk of the driver not seeing a person or hazard ahead and having an accident. Like many other parts of the car, headlights have continuously been improved as new technologies have become available. Certainly, the lighting on today’s cars is light years better than the gas lamps that Karl Benz would have used at the beginning of the 20th century.

Being a pioneer in automobile safety, Mercedes-Benz has typically offered the best lighting available in its cars and this year, Mercedes-Maybach S-Class customers will get revolutionary headlamp technology. Referred to as DIGITAL LIGHT, the technology was first presented in 2015 in the F015 research vehicle and is now a production reality.

There is a virtually dazzle-free main beam in HD (high definition) quality and a resolution of more than two million pixels. With a resolution of over one million pixels per headlamp, DIGITAL LIGHT not only creates ideal light conditions for every driving situation but also extends the visual support from the driving assistance systems. The technology offers outstanding performance to facilitate pioneering driving assistance and communication with the driver and can create the ideal light conditions in every driving situation.

An integral part of the overall Mercedes-Benz INTELLIGENT DRIVE strategy, DIGITAL LIGHT is said to offer even higher precision than the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, minimising the risk of other road-users being dazzled.

In the new HD-quality headlamp, there is a chip at work with over a million micro-reflectors, ie a total of over two million per vehicle. Cameras and sensor systems in the vehicle detect other road users, powerful computers evaluate the data plus digital navigation maps in milliseconds and give the headlamps the commands for best possible adaption of the light distribution in all situations.

With the innovative software-controlled technology, symbols can also be projected onto the road in HD quality. This not only gives the driver information directly in their field of vision but in a second step, it could also make communication with the surroundings possible.

Because new technologies must comply with the applicable laws of the country where a car is sold, Mercedes-Benz is not offering DIGITAL LIGHT as a standard feature. It will be available in a small volume of cars and selected fleet customers will take delivery of them during the first half of 2018.

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[Chips Yap]

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