Tesla has begun activating a key safety feature for its vehicles in Europe – adaptive headlights for the new Model 3. This technology precisely controls individual LEDs in the headlamps to reduce glare for oncoming traffic.
Adaptive headlights were a requirement for the redesigned Model 3 to gain approval in Europe. Now, over-the-air software updates are enabling the capability for owners in EU countries.
With adaptive headlights, the Model 3 can automatically dim sections of its high beam when it detects other vehicles. This creates a darkened zone in the light pattern to avoid dazzling drivers or cyclists while maintaining broader illumination of the road.
The new feature will initially only be available in Model 3s built in Tesla’s Berlin factory. Older Model 3s lack the necessary matrix LED headlamps to support adaptive beams. The company has not indicated when or if the tech will come to existing Model S, Model X, or Model Y vehicles in Europe.
While a step forward, Tesla does have room for improvement in intelligently switching between low and high beams. Owners report issues with the current auto high beam function failing to respond to oncoming cars. Hopefully the adaptive headlights’ greater precision helps Tesla nail high beam lighting for Europe’s roads.
The rollout shows Tesla’s ongoing efforts to optimize features and meet safety requirements regionally. Europe has stringent lighting regulations, and adaptive headlights were critical for the redesigned Model 3. As Tesla expands globally, making vehicles configurable at the hardware and software levels for local markets is becoming more important.