Headlight technology has come a long way in the last 20 years. Back in the early 2000s, xenon headlamps were the best you could wish for but today, everyone is using LEDs and some are even one step further, with Laser Light. And even though the first version of these new laser headlights were pretty basic, over the last few years this too advanced quite a lot. However, while the first version of laser headlights could only switch between high and low beams, the most recent ones can also adapt to the traffic situation. They create a cone around the cars in front of you, be that on you side on the oncoming traffic side, simply lighting up everything on the road, around the cars. It’s quite spectacular to watch in action. And, so far, U.S. customers have been deprived of such features. It’s not because of BMW though.
It’s because of the law, believe it or not. Adaptive headlights have been illegal in the US up until this year because of outdated laws. That’s all about to change, thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (HR 3684), better known as the Infrastructure Bill. Under section 24212 of the bill, which is appropriately titled “HEADLAMPS,” it’s stated that “Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a final rule amending Standard 108″— that’s the transportation regulation pertaining to headlight design.
To be more precise, the bill states that this section of the code should be amended “to allow for the use on vehicles of adaptive driving beam headlamp systems.” Therefore, once this bill gets passed, the transportation secretary has a maximum of two years at his/her disposal to make adaptive headlights legal in the United States. That also means that we could see this become reality sooner than that.