Helping to keep drivers’ eyes on the road

Head-up displays are already helping some of our customers stay focussed on the way ahead. But now our engineers are trialling new technology that could help ensure drivers keep their eyes on the road. 1

The new headlights can project directions, speed limits or weather information onto the road so the driver’s gaze can remain fixed on the way ahead.

A vehicle travelling at 90 km/h covers 25 metres per second, meaning even a short glance at the navigation on the in-car screen can result in “driving blind” for ten metres or more. In the dark, on an unlit road, this could potentially mean missing an important sign or a bend in the road. 

Projecting information onto the road using high-resolution headlights could benefit other road users too. For example, a crosswalk could be projected, both for the view of the driver and the pedestrian, in situations where the existing road markings are faded or unclear. Other possibilities include showing a path for the driver to follow to ensure cyclists are passed at a safe distance.

Our engineers are looking into what else could be projected onto the road ahead to make night driving easier, including weather and road condition information, navigation instructions, or even the width of the vehicle to help the driver to judge it will fit a gap or parking space. They are even developing potential entertainment applications.

“What started as playing around with a projector light and a blank wall could take lighting technologies to a whole new level. The driver could get essential information without ever needing to take their eyes off the road.”

Lars Junker, features and software,
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, Ford of Europe

Endeavouring to make night-driving more comfortable is part of our commitment to developing technologies that serve and inspire the way people live and work, to make life easier, now and in the future.

1 Projecting images onto the road may be subject to different legal regulations in different markets. This vehicle feature is being developed for trial purposes only and is being tested in controlled environments.


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