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Canadian International Auto Show
Tuesday, 16 December 2008

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The American market generally does not share the same interest in lighting and driver vision technology found in European and Asian markets, though Ford's pace of lighting evolution is higher than that of Chrysler or General Motors.

The trends and tendencies in lighting technology level by car sector are generally in accord with Driving Vision News' predictions, though the Korean makers, in particular, are aggressively bringing high-performance lighting downmarket.
European and Asian innovation is the primary influence on worldwide level and rate of driver vision innovation.

Relative to the European and other worldwide markets, in North America lighting systems have for many years been much less central to the overall design, style, safety, and innovation signature of new vehicles. This reflects two cultural aspects of the market: a general lack of American interest in lighting on the one hand, and on the other hand American ideas and definitions of excellent lighting substantially out of step with international concepts. Perhaps to some degree this is a lingering effect of the virtual freeze in American lighting evolution due to the sealed-beam mandate from 1940 through 1984. Perhaps it is both a cause and an effect of the persistent maintenance of lighting regulations different to those used internationally.

Recent acceleration in lighting development is evident in the American car market, however, largely driven by international application of innovative technology and technique.
Korean automakers are most quickly bringing lighting advancements down from the top sectors to more generally affordable cars.
European and Asian automakers are the prime movers at the cutting edge of driver vision system technology and technique.

Most innovations survive the trip across the Atlantic Ocean. Of the American automakers, Ford are adopting and marketing new lighting technology at the fastest pace. Influence is bi-directional, however; the world's automakers continue to vary rear turn signal colour for the American market — red or amber — despite international agreement on amber and recent data showing significant safety benefit to amber. Given the overlap between American and rest-of-world ECE regulations, it is difficult to see this in most cases as anything but the use of rear indicator colour as a styling gimmick.