Vehicle front-lighting is essential for road traffic safety during night-time. After the introduction of gas-discharge (xenon) light sources in 90-ties of the last century, in the recent years there were adaptive front-lighting systems (AFS) allowed to be used. This kind of front-lighting with significant complexity of functions and control, relatively limited lighting improvement and high costs, does not spread as quickly as it was predicted. For these reasons, the last two years saw automatic and adaptive driving beam offered, with electronic control based on the video camera image processing. It is done referring to the present in force, static technical requirements. But the automatic control of these lights as well as reactions of other roads users could have wide spread implications for the night-driving comfort and safety. On one hand it should create much better road illumination, as it leads in many cases to road illumination closer to the standard driving beam, when at present the passing beam would be used. On the other hand, there is a significant risk of glaring other road users as a result of their improper recognition or erroneous activation/deactivation of these lights. It could be a result of imperfections in sensors, algorithm and devices controlling light beam changes. This could lead to lack of light reaction and glaring of improperly indentified objects e.g. bicycles, pedestrians and to illumination deterioration in response to retro-reflectors (road signs). This paper describes most important issues concerning advantages and risks of introducing this kind of lights to the market and ways of defining requirements.
road transport, road illumination, headlamps, traffic safety