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Mazda To Showcase Adaptive LED Headlamps, Semi-Autonomous Mazda3 Photo:
Trevor Collett | Oct, 06 2014 | 1 Comment

Mazda will showcase new headlight technology and a semi-autonomous Mazda3 in Japan this week, at the CEATEC consumer electronics and IT exhibition.

The company says the headlamp technology is a first for a Japanese carmaker, which it has dubbed simply Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH).

Described as “LED array glare-free high-beam headlamps”, Mazda says the light source is divided into four blocks which can be switched on or off independently.

Using a camera to detect oncoming headlights, or the tail lamps of vehicles ahead, the system can determine which light blocks can be illuminated and which need to be switched off.

Mazda does concede that in its present form, “some functions may be restricted based on factors such as the lighting environment around the road [and] vehicle speed”.

The 2014 Mazda3's headlamps - what might they look like on the next model?
The 2014 Mazda3's headlamps - what might they look like on the next model?

The ALH system also improves light distribution with low-beam lamps, increasing the width of coverage either side of the vehicle. A small motor will raise or lower the beam while travelling on highways, depending on the vehicle’s speed.


Mazda's (Nearly) Self-Driving 3

Visitors to CEATEC can also expect to see a Mazda3 equipped with autonomous driving technology at the carmaker’s stand.

Mazda has developed technology aimed at letting the driver maintain control of the vehicle in the traditional manner, with ‘Big Brother’ (including a high-precision GPS) watching for ‘just-in-case’ moments.

Rather than develop a fully-autonomous model designed to steer itself, the 3 lets the driver control the vehicle until it senses the driver is fatigued or is losing control - then it takes over.

Mazda describes it as “[placing] the utmost importance on understanding, trusting, and respecting drivers as human beings.”

Other exhibits at Mazda’s CEATEC stand include the all-new Mazda2, along with technologies from Mazda’s new-generation Human Machine Interface based on the carmaker’s unique ‘Heads-Up Cockpit’ concept.

MORE: Mazda News & Reviews

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