We can see more and more new lighting technologies entering the market. It underlines the dynamism and the creativity of car makers and lighting companies.
This is a positive point but there is a need to assess whether these new lighting innovations simply improve driving comfort or really enhance drivers’ safety. In the latter case, we ought to be able to identify their impact on safety, and balance their cost/benefit ratio against other systems before mandating them through new regulations.
We have a good example with Xenon headlamp cleaning system and autolevelling devices. Regulations were defined before an exhaustive study proved the safety benefit of the technology.
I might, for instance, be convinced that automatic leveling device improve safety and has to be mandatory for all headlamps. But what kind of device or system are we talking about? Static or dynamic, and in each category, how can we measure their real efficiency on the roads? Can one assess how many injuries or fatalities could be avoided if cars were 100% equipped, and at what annual cost for the car makers? How does it compare with other safety equipment in term of impact or cost?
The recent paper of Professor Khanh highlights that more research studies are needed before being able to link new lighting technologies to measurable safety benefits. Today, creativity in lighting technologies is moving forward so rapidly (we can be proud on it) that there are risks building regulations not rationally in line with safety. Studies on the benefits of new technologies are a must. Fortunately, we have universities and labs for that. Let us use them!