Auto Manifesto

February 4, 2008

Idea du Jour: Automatic Headlights

Time and again I see people driving with lights off in the dark. This seems to be second only to how frequently I’ve observed people driving with severely under inflated tires, which is why there’s now a requirement for tire pressure monitoring systems on new cars.

This leads to the question why aren’t there (are there?) cars out there today that have their headlight switches tied into a photo sensor so that when the ignition is on when it is dark outside, the lights automatically come on.

Another item is the ability to leave your lights on when you cut the engine off. Plenty of cars will chime when you leave the lights on and take the key out of the ignition. So if they already know that, why not just have the lights turn off automatically? Is there a regulation that requires the headlights be operable when the key is not in the ignition?

If there truly were some need to be able to either drive with your lights off at night or to be able to leave your lights on without the key, a photo sensor and a manual override switch would seem to cover the bases. Any thoughts?

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