Car headlights more high-tech than ever, trigger regulators

Car headlights more high-tech than ever, trigger regulators

Lighthouses are quietly undergoing a technological revolution, and regulators are trying to catch up.

For much of automotive history, innovation has slowly come to the headlights. But in recent decades, the pace has accelerated. Now, automakers are using LED technology to create arrays of tiny lights that can project complex beams. The so-called adaptive high beams can light up the entire road, turning off any bulbs that glow in the eyes of oncoming drivers.

Even more sophisticated headlights have such a high resolution that they can even display graphics or animation. These can be used to display warnings or other important information for the driver. In theory, the technology could allow a car to project an entire movie from its headlights.

Right now, federal regulators are creating regulations that could completely change the way drivers view the road and each other.

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