Image credit - Daimler

Image credit – Daimler

The headlights on our cars are meant to illuminate the path ahead of us, but what if they could be used for other things? What if the lights could be more functional than they are? Over at Mercedes-Benz, it seems that this is something that they have thought about when they unveiled the Digital Light system (via CNET).

Through the use of an LED system, computer chips and mirrors, the Digital Light system can actually project images onto the ground. So why would anyone need such a feature? One of the examples given is that it can be used to display the distance between your car and the car ahead of you, meaning that if you’re trying to see if you could inch in further, perhaps for parking, the lights will tell you how far you can go.

Another potential use is when the car can detect that there is a pedestrian in front of them, in which it will display a projected zebra crossing on the floor to show them that they can cross. It can also use the mirrors in the light to lower the beam when it detects oncoming vehicles or cyclists so as to avoid blinding them.

Now before you get too excited, it should be noted that it will probably be a while before this system is implemented in cars. This is because at the moment, the current setup is a bit expensive, plus there are also government/regulatory approvals that need to be cleared. However it is an interesting concept and one that could possibly find its way into self-driving cars in the future, like to flash warnings, or like in the example above, have the car slow down and display a zebra crossing to let pedestrians know that it is safe to cross.

Filed in Transportation. Read more about .