New S-Class Maybachs will soon get an impressive intelligent headlight upgrade. Digital Light puts a million pixels of resolution into each headlight, and works with the car’s sensors and computers to display a bunch of driver-assist information right there on the road in front of you.
Way back in 2009, we covered the Experimental Safety Vehicle, a technology demonstrator from Mercedes-Benz showcasing some pretty out-there technological innovations for the time. Inflating seatbelt airbags, back seat cameras to show you what the kids are up to, and high-friction braking bags that inflate when you’re faced with an unavoidable crash and haul the car to a halt much faster than you could with just four tires on the road.
But the one that really caught our imagination at the time was partial main beam intelligent headlights, which had 100 individually controlled LEDs built into them and interacted with sensors on the car to do things like keeping your high beams on and shining them everywhere except into the eyes of oncoming drivers. Or visually highlighting pedestrians who step out on to the road when you’ve got your low beams on.