Engineers at Opel/Vauxhall are developing a brand new eye-tracking lighting system, designed to improve vision and safety on the road.
The third generation of adaptive lighting will be introduced after the current AFL+ bi-xenon system - which features up to 10 lighting functions available in most models - and Opel/Vauxhall's LED matrix light, which will soon go into series production.
In contrast to high-performance eye-tracking systems, which require five to 10 cameras, the new system was created using a simple webcam. Focused on the driver's head, it scanned prominent points, such as the nose and eyes, to detect movement and thereby the driver's line of sight.
The system then translated the information gathered into data commands for electronically-controlled actuators, which quickly aligned the vehicle's headlamp projectors. While this technique came very close to achieving eye-control of the headlamps, calculation of data still took too long and the recording rate of the webcam was also too slow to meet the demanding requirements of road traffic conditions.
However, it would appear that any concerns have now been address. Ingolf Schneider, director of lighting technology at Opel, explained: "We've been pursuing this concept of controlling the direction and intensity of light based on where the driver is looking for around two years. The more we understand the benefits of this technology, the more intensively we push ahead with our joint project."