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Old 10th April 2008, 11:37   #1
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Default Auto-dipping headlights

Not many drivers dip their lights at on-coming traffic, and it is bad manners as well as dangerous.

My dad used to manufacture a H/L dipper in the 70s/80s. It comprised of a small ray-gun kind of device that mounted on the dashboard, and a control unit that went under. I don't recall specifics, but think it worked on an LDR (light dependent resistor) principle. Naturally, it could be set for distance/intensity of trigerring light, and used to work fine.

The tech is basic; I wonder why modern cars have not standardised this.
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Old 10th April 2008, 11:50   #2
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BMW does offer this option abroad...called the High-Beam Assist.
It has a sensor mounted on the windscreen which shifts to low beam when it senses oncoming traffic and then goes back to high beam.
If your dad was manufacturing something like this in the 70/80s, i must say he was way ahead of his times!
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Old 10th April 2008, 11:58   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
BMW does offer this option abroad...called the High-Beam Assist.
It has a sensor mounted on the windscreen which shifts to low beam when it senses oncoming traffic and then goes back to high beam.
If your dad was manufacturing something like this in the 70/80s, i must say he was way ahead of his times!
Dad was a pioneer in many ways. Sadly many of his ideas didn't find traction. He also extrapolated the concept to streetlights and made what he called a 'Twilight switch' that automatically switched on (and off) street lights, potentially saving huge amounts. TN govt at the time wanted the princely sum of 5 lakhs to pass an ordinance, and he dropped the idea.

He had designed and manufactured a couple of batches of the Headlight Dipper by the time we left Bombay in 1973!

Last edited by netchef : 10th April 2008 at 12:00.
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Old 10th April 2008, 13:02   #4
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Woow netchef,he was a personality.Good to hear about your dad's initiatives.Why dont you take it ahead with lots of options nowadays than his times?
ram
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Old 10th April 2008, 13:34   #5
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Originally Posted by netchef View Post
TN govt at the time wanted the princely sum of 5 lakhs to pass an ordinance, and he dropped the idea.
You mean, that TN govt wanted him to pay 5 lacs?

I thought the govt should have paid him 5 lakhs for the potential savings...
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Old 10th April 2008, 13:46   #6
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Originally Posted by LLL View Post
You mean, that TN govt wanted him to pay 5 lacs?

I thought the govt should have paid him 5 lakhs for the potential savings...
Potential savings for whom ?? have you ever heard about corruption !!
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Old 10th April 2008, 13:46   #7
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I always wished there could be some technology like this. Good to know that such a technology exists.

I think this technology would be a boon in Indian conditions because there are so many accidents on Indian highways due to drivers getting blinded with the high beams of oncoming vehicles.

Does any one know if there are any after market products that can be added to the vehicles? Mainly how much do they cost?
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Old 10th April 2008, 13:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netchef View Post
Not many drivers dip their lights at on-coming traffic, and it is bad manners as well as dangerous.

My dad used to manufacture a H/L dipper in the 70s/80s. It comprised of a small ray-gun kind of device that mounted on the dashboard, and a control unit that went under. I don't recall specifics, but think it worked on an LDR (light dependent resistor) principle. Naturally, it could be set for distance/intensity of trigerring light, and used to work fine.

The tech is basic; I wonder why modern cars have not standardised this.
Why not you take over and run the business of auto headlight dippers.. India may have a HUGE market!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLL View Post
You mean, that TN govt wanted him to pay 5 lacs?

I thought the govt should have paid him 5 lakhs for the potential savings...
We are living in India, my friend, you want to sell your product to the market, then YOU have to pay the GOVERNMENT. Its not the other way around.
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Old 10th April 2008, 14:03   #9
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If Im not mistaken I saw an Advert for a product like this in the Autocar classifieds.
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Old 10th April 2008, 14:08   #10
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Agreed, and a very good concept as well. I always drive with my fog lamps in the night in the city. Very rarely do I ever switch on the HLs.

Now coming to point, while it is okay that your car dips the HL beam when sensing the oncoming traffic, what about those morons who continue driving with High beam and don't even understand the meaning of dipping?

Sometimes a very wicked thought come to mind - would like to carry a portable air rifle and shoot a pellet in the HL of that offending car....How I wish if that was possible..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
BMW does offer this option abroad...called the High-Beam Assist.
It has a sensor mounted on the windscreen which shifts to low beam when it senses oncoming traffic and then goes back to high beam.
If your dad was manufacturing something like this in the 70/80s, i must say he was way ahead of his times!
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Old 10th April 2008, 14:12   #11
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Sometimes a very wicked thought come to mind - would like to carry a portable air rifle and shoot a pellet in the HL of that offending car....
Boss, only the HL or the rest of the car and the moronic driver as well? LOL

A simple task would be to make that moron to push his car in the dark without lights for a kilometer. Maybe could use your air rifle for that? Ofcourse if his car is a 800 or a lightweight, he could always push your car eh?
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Old 10th April 2008, 14:27   #12
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This was considered for implementation in India somewhere around 1997-98. Trials were conducted by manufacturers. The concept was the same, there was a sensor mounted on top of the dash and at a specific distance from another light source, the lights would dip for a certain amount of time. But the idea was dropped because the behavior of this was quite unpredictable because of the varying inputs. I am not aware of any country that has made this mandatory. The same argument was put forward by SIAM members to government which then decided to cancel the plan.

Last edited by pjbiju : 10th April 2008 at 14:30.
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Old 10th April 2008, 14:33   #13
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@ pjbiju...infact this is what I was thinking about, it sounds a very good idea, but implementing it is not that easy..the input would define the behavior and somehow I can feel that it might be a big problem..
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Old 10th April 2008, 14:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram_hyundai View Post
Woow netchef,he was a personality.Good to hear about your dad's initiatives.Why dont you take it ahead with lots of options nowadays than his times?
ram
Yes, sir. Probably a good idea but I burnt my fingers in other business, so I shy away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLL View Post
You mean, that TN govt wanted him to pay 5 lacs?

I thought the govt should have paid him 5 lakhs for the potential savings...
Imagine millions of street lights switching on and off at just the optimum ambient light conditions and not a second before/later. Imagine knocking hundreds of 'lightmen' off the rolls in each city. I'd say ballpark savings could cross into hundreds of crores annually across the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by visu03 View Post
I always wished there could be some technology like this. Good to know that such a technology exists.

I think this technology would be a boon in Indian conditions because there are so many accidents on Indian highways due to drivers getting blinded with the high beams of oncoming vehicles.

Does any one know if there are any after market products that can be added to the vehicles? Mainly how much do they cost?
The technology itself didn't amount to rocket science. The idea/timing to implement was big.
Quote:
Originally Posted by headers View Post
Why not you take over and run the business of auto headlight dippers.. India may have a HUGE market!



We are living in India, my friend, you want to sell your product to the market, then YOU have to pay the GOVERNMENT. Its not the other way around.
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Old 10th April 2008, 14:48   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visu03 View Post
I always wished there could be some technology like this. Good to know that such a technology exists.

I think this technology would be a boon in Indian conditions because there are so many accidents on Indian highways due to drivers getting blinded with the high beams of oncoming vehicles.

Does any one know if there are any after market products that can be added to the vehicles? Mainly how much do they cost?
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0uljah View Post
If Im not mistaken I saw an Advert for a product like this in the Autocar classifieds.
Its available in India as s0uljaih pointed out. They even have/had jotted why one should use it

But then, if you get it for your car, you dip the other guy will?
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