U.S. Approves Adaptive LED Headlights, Tesla Owners Should Be Excited

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has approved adaptive headlights in the U.S., after a part of President Biden’s November infrastructure bill tweaked some of the rules surrounding the tech, according to a filing from the agency (via Motor1.com and WBKO).

Adaptive headlights use lighting technology to automatically highlight darker areas of the road, optimizing light in necessary areas and mitigating glare for drivers of oncoming cars.

Prior to the infrastructure bill, the feature was still considered illegal in the U.S. due to an old law that disallowed low and high beams from being on at the same time — which is exactly what adaptive headlights do, albeit in a more intuitive way.

In a recent news release, the NHTSA said, “This final rule will improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists by making them more visible at night, and will help prevent crashes by better illuminating animals and objects in and along the road.”

European companies like Mercedes-Benz and Audi have used adaptive headlights for many years, though it’s not yet clear when these companies will offer the technology in the U.S.

U.S. automaker Tesla first debuted its adaptive front lighting system last June on the Tesla Model S Plaid.

The newest Tesla vehicles such as the Model Y (Performance) and Model 3 lineup also have adaptive headlights, which you can see when testing the 2021 Holiday Light Show, as the word “TESLA” is projected. Likely future software updates will let Tesla unlock the full potential of their matrix LED headlights, which use Samsung technology.

For Tesla owners with vehicles that include adaptive headlights, the power of the company’s software updates will allow this technology to be fully utilized in the years to come, making for safer nighttime driving for all.