Ford shows us how much headlamps have improved image

The passenger and commercial cars have been around for just a little more than a century but the rate of progress is almost incredible – take a given technology such as headlamps for example.

Ford Motor Company – now much more than an automaker, as it wants to become a mobility provider – has decided to take us back in time when the world was going on without light. To be more precise, without electrical light. The electric power has seemingly been berthed around the same period as automobiles and has naturally joined forces ever since. “In terms of lighting technology, we have come out of the dark ages,” said Michael Koherr, Ford’s lighting research engineer. “It is quite incredible what a fundamental difference these changes contribute in terms of road safety and driver comfort.” In case you never drove an old car at night it’s easy to discard how much better modern systems are right now.

Ford shows us how much headlamps have improved 5

In addition – they also need to be – since cars travel at much higher speeds than in their early days. “We have gone from what were essentially glorified candles to efficient and effective xenon and LED lights. In the future we’ll see more super-bright LED lights equipped to cars, which can actually help drivers remain alert. Visibility at night is now so much better. Like night and day,” said Koherr. By the way, the first cars had acetylene or oil lanterns that were manually lit – with Cadillac including the first modern electric headlamp system in 1912, and the Guide Lamp Company delivering some years later the first low-beam headlights. The high/low beam combo appeared in 1924, with the revolutionary halogen headlamp being born in 1962. Now we have Xenon, LED and even laser LED…