Authors: Michael Sivak, Michael J. Flannagan
Addresses: The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2901 Baxter Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2150, USA. ' The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 2901 Baxter Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2150, USA
Abstract: Inherent in the design of a low-beam (passing-beam) headlamp pattern is a trade-off between providing sufficient seeing for the driver using the headlamp and protecting oncoming drivers from glare. There are differences between the US and European approaches to this trade-off, stemming from a greater emphasis in Europe on protecting oncoming drivers from glare and on the ease of aiming the headlamp beam visually. Because neither approach appears to be superior overall in terms of visual performance, there is a strong economic impetus to develop a harmonized (common) beam pattern. This article summarizes two recent studies related to the issue of harmonization of beam patterns, and describes the current state of the harmonization efforts. The first of the two studies evaluated several current and proposed standards for low-beam headlamp patterns. The second study generated a proposal for partial harmonization, by recommending a small number (four) of the most important test points and their accompanying photometric limits. A slightly modified version of these four test points is currently being considered by international regulatory agencies for incorporation into existing standards.
Keywords: headlamps; headlighting; international harmonisation; low beam headlights; passing beam; vehicle lighting; headlamp patterns; common beam patterns; lighting standards; vehicle design.
International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1994 Vol.15 No.3/4/5, pp.223 - 233
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