Car Tech Spotlight: Toyota Venza Auto High Beam
Feature switches headlights from high beam to low and back, with nothing required of the driver.
Like most vehicles, the Toyota Venza has an automatic setting for the headlights, in this case on a left-side steering-wheel stalk. And like most people, I usually just leave a car’s headlight switch on this setting so I don’t have to think about turning the headlights on or off.
But after switching on the high beams in a 2013 Venza Limited one evening and then encountering a car coming from the opposite direction, the headlights dimmed before I could reach for the stalk. Cool. And after the car passed, the high beams automatically switched back on just as quickly.
After checking the manual, I found that the Venza I was driving had an Automatic High Beam feature. Mercedes-Benz has Adaptive High Beam Assist and Ford also offers Automatic High Beams on some of its vehicles -- and similar technology has been around for 60 years.
But Toyota adds a new twist to this technology on the Venza. Or maybe one less twist.
I didn’t even realize the vehicle had Automatic High Beam until it just worked. And that’s the difference between the Toyota feature and others, which require the driver to activate them manually. It’s a set-and-forget feature. I also noticed that it switched back to low beams when vehicles turned in front of me and even once when I went from a dark area to one with streetlights.
Driving at night can be difficult enough. But technology like Toyota’s Automatic High Beam, which is standard on the Limited trim level, makes it easier and safer, with less distraction for the driver.
Check out the video below from Toyota for a demo of the feature.
"Set and forget feature" You see, that's the problem. You set and you forget. You set your automatic headlights to turn on when it's dark, but you forget that you need to manually turn them on when its foggy or raining. I can see where if you happen to remember to turn on your headlights, this new automatic highbeam feature could create problems under the same conditions. Another useless technology that just makes drivers lazier.
However, that old Ford system only looked for oncoming cars' headlights. It did not look for ambient lighting, and I don't think it worked as well for cars going the same direction ahead (where only the tail lights were visible). As some of the regulars here know, I like Japanese cars and they are abit of a hobby of mine. Still, I have to give credit where it's due.
This will give people one less option to get out of tickets when they choose not to dim their lights at night. It will force them to pay attention, get their eyes checked and keep their vehicle devices operating correctly.
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