I have always considered that the aiming is one of the most important conditions to achieve good lighting. During the many years I was actively involved with engineering headlamps, I struggled to achieve good aim in static and dynamic conditions—in all vehicles, not just premium cars. Really it is not debatable that automatic levelling is necessary for all headlamps, not just those with certain technologies or light source lumens.
For decades upon decades, we have made improvements in static aiming, but the progress is going slowly and it is not enough. Too many drivers are still dazzled because of lamps aimed too high (or aimed correctly but pushed upward by vehicle load or acceleration squat), and too many drivers are seeing less than 20 metres ahead at night because of lamps aimed too low (or aimed correctly but pushed downward by brake dive). It is sad and alarming, in today’s vision-zero context, to see the enormous strides we’ve made in headlamp performance nullified by this ancient problem. UN Regulations really must go in the direction suggested by Poland’s Dr. Tomasz Targosinski. And, perhaps even more importantly, the US regulations have to get serious about headlamp aim.
In a forthcoming newsletter we will describe the status of innovations in aiming to allow for safer night driving. This week we set the stage: DVN’s Daniel Stern describes and analyses Dr. Targosinski’s proposal.