IIHS test of headlamp performance



Newly Enlightened
Mar 8, 2021
Is Ford using bargain basement ADB headlights on the F-150? I ask because US market Ford Tremor F-150s (model ID 402A) are apparently being equipped with ADB headlights that are programmed to function as conventional low beam/high beam headlights, with automatic high beam and curve adaptive function. Why would Ford install an expensive (I assume) ADB headlight that replicates the performance of a cheaper conventional LED projector headlamp?
There's more to the cost of a piece hardware installed in a vehicle than just the materials and labor cost that go into the hardware. There's also the development cost to be amortized over the expected production run (which can be significant for small runs), the cost of maintaining separate production lines (if needed), the cost of managing the extra build options, the cost of the extra inventory to support the additional options, the cost of future support, etc.
I can certainly imagine a scenario where the ADB-capable headlamps are close enough in materials and labor cost to a different design with a curve-adaptive function and high beams that can handle the more frequent use and switching that comes from automatic operation that the additional fixed and indirect costs don't support 2 separate designs.


Staff member
Mar 26, 2004
LEDphile is exactly right. Functions like ADB, high/low beam, left/right hand traffic, ECE/SAE beam patterns, curve-adaptive beam shift, etc are increasingly implemented by software; the hardware being the same no matter which of those options are found on any given vehicle.

And none of this makes it magically impossible to put bad headlamps on the road. It's equally as possible to program a bad low beam in software or to build one in hardware.

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