The study, carried out on behalf of the Light.Sight.Safety initiative proves that drivers can identify obstacles 1.4 seconds earlier when using glare-free LED headlight and driving at a speed of 80 kmph. This translates into a distance of 32 metres. The new study acknowledges the results of an earlier study carried out by TU Darmstadt university in 2013. However, while the Darmstadt results were achieved under laboratory conditions on an airfield, for the recent study the scientists performed their test drives under real-world conditions on a country road.
During the test, ten life-size cardboard cut-outs in the shape of pedestrians and wild animals were placed along the road over a distance of eleven kilometres. The test drivers were instructed to push a button attached to the steering wheel as soon as they were able to identify such a cut-out. Compared to conventional light, the objects have been identified 32 metres earlier at average which corresponds to an additional reaction time of 1.4 seconds when driving at the test speed of 80 kmph. This gain in reaction time can be crucial in real-world, traffic, the Light.Sight.Safety initiative pointed out.
Light.Sight.Safety is an initiative of European automotive suppliers active in the area of lighting. Members are, among others, Hella. Lumileds, Osram and Valeo.