Lexus' New Headlamp Spots People 200 Feet Away in the Dark
The new Lexus Bladescan LED headlight not only spots objects and pedestrians in the dark, but it also improves the driver's visibility significantly.
The 2007 Lexus LS 600h was the first car to feature LED headlights. Lexus also became the first automaker to take adaptive high-beam headlights to market in the 2012 Lexus LS. The Japanese brand is taking the headlight game a notch higher with the new BladeScan adaptive LED headlights that will debut in the 2020 Lexus RX 450h. This new lighting innovation is expected to improve night visibility significantly.
Photos Courtesy of TopSpeed
Debuting in Europe
The first buyers to experience the new BladeScan adaptive LED headlights will be those based in Europe. This will be in the 2020 Lexus RX 450h which is expected to launch there later this year. Unfortunately, the technology will not be available in the US yet.
Not a Mere Achievement
While the world is busy keeping an eye on flashier developments such as autonomous driving and electrification, a new lighting technology might seem like a small achievement. However, the advancements that have been made in the past to improve drivers' visibility have been of huge help in achieving all-around safety for pedestrians, passengers, and drivers - making headlights a very important piece of equipment.
According to Lexus, the new BladeScan LEDs can vary their illumination by up to 0.7 degrees compared to 1.7 degrees in the previous headlamps. This means that they are able to light up larger areas, especially on the roadside. The current headlamps that Lexus uses can spot people and objects from a distance of 105 feet in the dark. This is, however, no match to the 184-distance that the new BladeScan headlamps can reach.
The previous Lexus headlamps are laid out in two levels. The top-level houses 8 units while the bottom houses 16 units. The BladeScan LEDs have 10 units on each level with each module located in the corner of the headlight.
Against the Norm
The conventional headlight is supposed to shine its light forward. The BladeScan LEDs shine their light diagonally across two blade-like mirrors. They route the light at high speed. What makes the setup unique is that the mirrors have to work in precise synchronization. They rotate as the LEDs go on and off bringing a shading effect not seen in any other headlight on the market today.
How it Works
In a recent video released by Lexus, the non-binding adapted light reflects into a lens which then irradiates the beam onto the road ahead. The 16-second video shows how some areas get more light than others to make sure that the driver sees easily at night. Lexus has also maintained its triple-eye light arrangement.
Experience to Understand
You only get to see what Lexus was trying to achieve with the new headlights when you see them in action. The BladeScan lighting technology will be offered as an option in the 2020 RX 450h in Europe. The U.S. variant will only be offered with the current adaptive LEDs for the time being.
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