Future Tech: Mercedes’ New Headlights Project Driving Directions Onto The Road

Photo: Alexander Ryumin / Contributor (Getty)

How many times in a day do you almost hit something (or someone) with your car from glancing down at your phone or navigation? Plenty, we’re sure. Not only is it mildly infuriating, it’s plenty unsafe taking your eyes off the road in our fast-paced lifestyles. While car companies are doing their damnedest to make navigating the not-so-open road easier, Mercedes recently announced new headlights that can project driving directions onto the road.

The new headlamp technology is called Digital Light and not only will it project driving directions, the new headlamps are designed to deliver impeccable visibility without blinding oncoming traffic.

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“With a resolution of more than one million pixels per headlamp, Digital Light not only creates ideal light conditions for every driving situation; it also extends the visual support from our driving assistance systems,” says Ola Källenius, member of the board of management of Daimler AG and Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

Unlike multibeam headlights, which are the standard for most vehicles and known to cause visibility issues for oncoming traffic, the new HD Digital Light headlamps have greater precision in light placement (and a greater price tag). That not only allows both you and other drivers to see better, but the technology will also use on-board sensors to detect other vehicles, people, or objects on the road to combine for a safer driving experience.

It’s not just directions that can be projected either, as Digital Light technology will also provide warning indicators, which include symbols or signs for low-grip road surfaces, construction sites, possible impending rear-end collisions and more. We definitely could’ve used this in Driver’s Ed.

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Obviously, this technology doesn’t come cheap, as Mercedes is currently offering the new headlights on selected S-Class series models with the Maybach S 560-4Matic being the flagship car at a measly $170,000. Eventually, Mercedes and other vehicle manufacturers hope HD headlights will be the new standard, but for now, you’ll have to continue arguing with your wife over the best possible and safest route.


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