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Here's some more to keep you busy reading, instead of typing a bunch of B.S.




"Forget driverless cars for a second. Can we just get vehicles with decent headlights? Only one of 31 midsize cars studied by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had headlights it considered "good".
Did you see the following sentence in the first article?: "Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus offer the most vehicles with either "good" or "acceptable" headlight ratings, and popular vehicles such as the new Ford F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado only offer "poor" headlights."

We own an earlier example of the very first vehicle that the IIHS gave its highest "Good" headlight rating to - the Prius v Five. The 2015 Prius v Five was that "1 out of 31" vehicles that got the highest IIHS "Good" rating at the time that USA Today article was written in 2015. Its headlight performance was a key reason for buying the Prius.

I doubt if anyone on this forum knows more about the history of headlights in the U.S. market than I do or why U.S. market headlights have frequently been poorer than those on vehicles sold in many other countries. If there is any blame to be thrown, I'd direct it at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) which have for decades slowed and prevented the implementation of superior vehicle lighting standards adopted or accepted by most of the rest of the world.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) seems to have had a very positive effect on improving headlight performance since it began testing headlights in 2015. A far higher percentage of vehicle headlights are now getting "Good" and "Acceptable" ratings and I hope the trend continues. The best way to get better headlights is to "vote with your feet" and buy only vehicles that have good headlights. Nothing puts pressure on vehicle makers like consumers refusing to buy their products. As I said in a previous post in this thread, I will never buy another vehicle that has headlights that get less than an IIHS "Good" rating and will not accept future rental cars that get less than an IIHS "Acceptable" rating.

Frankly, the best thing the U.S. could do is to dump its vehicle lighting standards and completely adopt European lighting standards and requirements or to at least allow the sale of vehicles that meet ECE standards. But that is becoming increasingly unlikely in the current isolationist political environment. I have to wonder if Toyota and other companies are going to put as much effort into designing headlights for the U.S. market when it is designing different headlight systems for the rest of the world. The Canadian government announced about two years ago that it is going with the European standard instead of continuing to follow the U.S.

Speaking of self driving cars, its been in the news the past few days that the Tesla Model Y is going to be available much sooner than anticipated. Coupled with its recently announced increased range, it's becoming the likely candidate to replace my wife's Prius v Five instead of the 2021 RAV4 Prime PHEV we had planned on purchasing. I'm hoping that the Model Y will get the same "Good" IIHS headlight rating as the Model 3 that it's based on. As self driving cars become common, headlights could in theory become less important.
 

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2018 Toyota Camry SE 2.5
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Did you see the following sentence in the first article?
Yeah, big deal. Keep reading. From the same link:

"A new study discovered some troubling trends involving the headlights on cars. An overwhelming number of headlights are considered dangerous, and having them in your car could raise the risk of being involved in a serious crash.

Headlight safety has been tested since 2016, and that year, only two of 96 vehicles got the highest safety rating. Today, 67 percent of the headlights tested got a poor rating.

Across the country, more than half of all car crash fatalities occur at night, and almost 25 percent occur on unlit roads.
Now, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is revisiting what is believed to be a major source of the problem.

"About half of the models we tested don't have adequate headlights that provide enough visibility for the driver," During testing, at 65 mph, good headlights show pedestrians at 140 feet and deer at 220 feet. In contrast, with poor headlights, drivers would have to be going 40 mph or slower to have enough time to avoid a crash.

Of the 424 headlight versions tested by the IIHS, 67 percent earned a "marginal" or "poor" rating.


"Overwhelming number", "poor", "dangerous". "Have to drive 40 MPH or SLOWER to avoid a crash". Now, if that doesn't define crap, I don't know what does. Just how bad does this have to get? What really irritates me isn't the fact the manufacturers put this kind of dangerous $h!t on the road. It's the fact we've got all of these fanboys who are foolish enough to actually defend it. That's preposterous!
 

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What really irritates me isn't the fact the manufacturers put this kind of dangerous $h!t on the road.
So, Bill. What are you going to do to get yourself out of your situation. Keep complaining endlessly?. Do something?

When I found that vehicle headlights weren't good enough, I installed better ones from a different world market.
When I bought vehicles that I thought needed auxiliary front lights, I installed them.
When I bought vehicles that didn't have headlight washers (I live in the slush belt), I installed headlight washers from the European market.
When I bought vehicles that didn't have rear fog lights, I bought E-code rear fog light units and installed them.
When I bought vehicles that didn't have rear seat head restraints before they were required, I installed them.
If you want to go way back, when I bought vehicles that didn't have seat belts, I installed them.

Complaining isn't going to solve your problem. Taking action will.
 

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2018 Toyota Camry SE 2.5
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I've already told you, there is nothing that can be done. About all you can hope for, is a down the road class action suit, that could possibly result in some type recall to install a better headlight system. That is highly doubtful. It would take a major collision type of catastrophe, and huge law suits to make it happen. It's sad, but automotive safety is built around tombstone technology.

And as all of those articles state, this is industry wide. It's not just the 2018 Camry that is afflicted with this nightmare. About all anyone can do is what I've already said. And that is to install some type of aftermarket lights. I'm fortunate in that I'm retired, and don't often have to drive at night.

And if I'm ever faced with having to, I have 2 other vehicles that don't have this issue. Certainly not anywhere near as bad. But I do feel sorry for anyone who has a 2018 Camry as an only vehicle. And is faced with having to travel long distances at night on unlit roads. It's for sure and for certain not a good situation.
 

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2019 Camry XSE V6
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I took some pics of the height of my headlights after adjustment.
The car is 18 feet from the wall. I took measurements at the top where you see the yellowish line of the LED’s.
Drivers side is at 31 inches.
Passenger side is at 32 1/2 inches.
6E3015A8-385C-4F7A-BC02-8DDA1EE9C485.jpeg
77EBE757-2C96-4F4F-8F86-EF31EBDD5663.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #66
So let’s see a complete tutorial on setting up a set of driving lights rigged to cut in and out with the high beams.
I see they have the aftermarkets on Amazon . I’m waiting for someone else to go first..........


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Nothing like paying $30K+ for a new car. Then have to shop on Amazon for headlights, so you can drive the damn thing at night without having to worry about getting into a wreck.
 

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So let’s see a complete tutorial on setting up a set of driving lights rigged to cut in and out with the high beams.
I see they have the aftermarkets on Amazon . I’m waiting for someone else to go first..........
The DistantXtremes harness does this. It's made for fog lights but you could easily adapt it for higher-powered driving lights and upgrade the wire to the battery if needed.
 

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So let’s see a complete tutorial on setting up a set of driving lights rigged to cut in and out with the high beams.
I see they have the aftermarkets on Amazon . I’m waiting for someone else to go first.........
Maybe you could create a tutorial if you have a gen 8 Camry. I've done lots of tutorials on car forums - with photos and YouTube video. It's your turn. LOL.

If you buy light units, I suggest that you verify that they have a European approval code, e.g. E1, E2, etc. There's lots of worthless and sometimes dangerous junk out there. A European approval code is the best way of confirming that a light is fit for use. Anything branded Hella will have an E1 (Germany) approval code.

Google "driving light wiring diagram" and you will find countless diagrams and instructions. Many driving light sets come with a wiring harness, relay and instructions on various ways to wire it. Relays are also available at most auto parts store and usually come with instructions. If a relay doesn't come with instructions, the terminals will have have standard codes.

The key to a project like this is the relay module. The relay type I would use would have 5 terminals.

  • an input terminal that would be connected to a robust power souce such as the battery positive cable clamp.
  • a ground terminal that would be connected to a common ground or convenient vehicle metal body part.
  • a trigger terminal that would be connected to a positive wire feeding one of the existing high beam headlights.
  • two output positive terminals - one for the positive wire on each driving light
The ground wires from the driving lights could be connected to a common ground or a vehicle metal body part.

The trigger wire would be ran though a dashboard mounted switch so that it wouldn't be necessary to always have the driving lights on when the high beams are on.

If you have a blank covering an unused switch position on your dashboard, you might find an aftermarket switch designed to fit your Camry so it would look OEM. I did that when I installed a rear fog light on our current Prius. A typical aftermarket Toyota fog/driving light switch would have a back light that lights up when the high beams are on and have a 2nd back light that would light up when the switch is set to on and the high beams are on.

If you don't have an unused switch position, you could drill a hole in your dashboard for an aftermarket switch. I did that when installing a rear fog light and headlight washers on our Sienna. There are Hella switches on Amazon. I had a guy in Australia make a custom switch for my Sienna's headlight washers - Billet Automotive Buttons - Design your own custom billet buttons 12v

The bigger challenge is finding driving lights that would fit the front of the Camry and look decent. I'd want to put them as high up as possible - not where fog lights would be located. It would likely be necessary to fabricate mounting brackets. I've usually found the bracket material I've needed at hardware stores and then cut, bent, drilled and painted them as necessary.

A project like this on a Camry might require removing the front bumper cover. While it is relatively easy to remove front bumper covers on vehicles made by Toyota, be careful if you do it on a late model Toyota as Toyota has lately been attaching the radar sensor to the bumper cover instead of to the metal structure behind it as was previously done. Disturbing the radar unit could require having a Toyota dealer realign it.

I've used a similar relay and wiring method when installing additional horns - I connected the relay's trigger terminal to the positive wire on one of the OEM horns and the relay output wires to the additional two horns I was adding.

This kind of project takes effort. I guess I've done so many these kinds of projects that they don't seem like that big a deal. I'm not a professional .. just learned by doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
There’s the rub. Mounting them so as not to look like some sort of Tijuana taxi. These days there’s just about nowhere to “ put” anything. Down in the knockouts is about all there is without totally altering the cars looks


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There’s the rub. Mounting them so as not to look like some sort of Tijuana taxi. These days there’s just about nowhere to “ put” anything. Down in the knockouts is about all there is without totally altering the cars looks
These are just cars - not religious shrines.

The gen 8 Camry's front end design definitely presents challenges when it comes to mounting driving lights but where there's a will, there's a way.

Sports car owners haven't minded mounting additional lights that weren't totally integrated - attached are some fun photos.

Porsche 911 driving lights.jpg
Porsche 911 driving lights - 2.jpg
 

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For those who don't know European market headlights are far more restrictive on glare compared to what FMVSS allows. In Europe all headlights have to have driver controlled leveling or have automatic self leveling. This glare reduction also reduces the light to provide adequate illumination of American overhead highway signs and don't project as far down the road.

Where upgraded European regulations are better than U.S. is the allowing the implementation of advanced Adaptive High Beam technology. Here in the U.S. our Auto High Beam switch back and forth from low to high beam. In Europe vehicles with advance AHB will dynamically adjust the headlights according to conditions by moving and dimming the light as necessary.

This means in Europe drivers are using high beams for most of their driving but not causing glare to other drivers. Their regulations to control glare is also why they allow headlights to be brighter than what is allowed here in America. But this is also why low beams (dipped beams as they are called there) in Europe don't provide as much down the road illumination as American low beam headlights. In Europe you are expected to use your high beams (main beams there) for night driving and using low beams only in the city or when approaching another vehicle.

We need to update our regulations to allow for the use of more advanced technology. One FMVSS regulation prohibiting one headlight on high beam and one on low beam simultaneously is what is stopping this technology from being implemented here.

 

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This glare reduction also reduces the light to provide adequate illumination of American overhead highway signs and don't project as far down the road.
I know it's subjective but I don't remember the low beam headlights on cars we've rented in the U.K. and Europe not projecting well down the road. Same for the many E-code headlights I installed on U.S. market cars although I agree that beam cutoffs are substantially sharper and don't produce the superfluous light needed to do a good job of lighting up overhead signs.

Where upgraded European regulations are better than U.S. is the allowing the implementation of advanced Adaptive High Beam technology. Here in the U.S. our Auto High Beam switch back and forth from low to high beam. In Europe vehicles with advance AHB will dynamically adjust the headlights according to conditions by moving and dimming the light as necessary.
Adaptive headlights are still mainly on more expensive vehicles in Europe but are starting to trickle down to less expensive ones.

We need to update our regulations to allow for the use of more advanced technology. One FMVSS regulation prohibiting one headlight on high beam and one on low beam simultaneously is what is stopping this technology from being implemented here.
I'm not sure what you meant by the 2nd sentence since many vehicles in the U.S market have separate low and high beam headlights that operate at the same time.

I thought I would see more buzz by now about adaptive headlights in Canada since it's been almost two years ago since they were first permitted. I see that BMW in Canada is now installing retrofit kits to "unlock" the adaptive function on previously sold BMW's that have compatible headlights.

While updates to U.S. regulations are needed, I don't know what it's going to take to get that to happen. Dynamite? Heck, the DOT proposed requiring amber rear turn signals a lot of years ago based on the statistically proven safety benefit but that certainly didn't go anywhere.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for U.S. headlight regulations to change but it has been somewhat promising that exceptions have been granted for a couple of low volume vehicles.

I'm hoping to just survive an upcoming driving trip my wife is planning for researching her family history in Germany - mostly in Bavaria. I'd love to get a rental with adaptive headlights but it's normally possible only to reserve a class/type of vehicle unless one reserves something super expensive. It's fun from an automotive perspective since I'm still a car nut at my age. My main concern is getting a rental car I'll feel comfortable in and feel safe driving. And there's a little problem of having an upcoming "milestone birthday" that might restrict my rental car choices.
 

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2018 Camry XSE V6
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Lexus BladeScan AHB. Though it excludes USA and Canada like others have said.
U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, a 1967 law that regulates automotive headlights. The key issue that affects the BladeScan AHS is that only a single low beam and a single high beam setting are allowed. There can be no intermediate settings; simultaneous use of low and high beams is forbidden; and the candlepower limits for low-beam headlights are insufficient.
 

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Earlier Bmws had a feature like this but it did not work well at all. The new LED Tech makes this system possible. Too bad the car costs $90K base.
As I said before, The XSE has the best headlights I ever had and i appreciated them the very first night I drove it. The results of the IHS tests are right on the money and clearly depicted.
Other models not so much. And yes mine are not great on left turns either, but I use the high beams for that when I can.
Happy to be driving a safe car with all the features and air bags.
 
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