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Intelligent lighting systems could adjust beams automatically (Photo: Daimler)

Researchers at Leibniz University in Hanover are developing a new automotive lighting system that gives drivers a clearer view of the road and makes their car more visible at night.

The researchers, who work in the university's Institute of Product Development, are building laser diodes into cars' headlights. These shine more and better distributed light on the road than traditional halogen or xenon lamps, they say.

The technology can be connected to camera-based recognition systems, which provide intelligent adjustments of the beams. "That could mean high beams all the time without the need to dim your lights yourself," said Professor Roland Lachmayer, who heads the institute.

The research team is already working with one unidentified automaker and hopes to start road testing the technology next year.

The researchers want to expand their cooperation with industry partners to make laser-diode technology production-ready for the auto industry. They warn that several requirements still need to be met.

Said Gerolf Kloppenburg, who heads the research project: "The headlights need to withstand strong shocks and temperature changes and they need to last the lifetime of the vehicle."