The SmartBeam system provides increased forward lighting at night by automating high beam control through the use of a digital camera mounted on the inside rearview mirror. This camera detects vehicle specific light and automatically switches from high beams to low beams until the approaching vehicle is out of view. The result is an intelligent, high-beam headlamp control system that greatly improves nighttime-driving safety. SmartBeam optimizes the use of a vehicle’s headlamp system in order to provide the maximum amount of light possible for any driving scenario.
To make the transition from low to high beams and back again less distracting and more aesthetically pleasing, SmartBeam is designed to slowly fade the high beams on and off. However, if traffic suddenly appears, such as when cresting a hill or rounding a corner, the system will immediately turn off the high beams.
Low Beams Alone Not Sufficient
SmartBeam is a major breakthrough in nighttime driving safety because it maximizes the use of the vehicle’s high beams. Recent developments in headlamp technology have focused on making low beams brighter. However, because low beams point downward and illuminate the road in front of the vehicle, they’re not as effective as high beams at illuminating obstacles hundreds of feet in advance of the vehicle. High beams point outward, not downward, substantially improving the driver’s ability to detect hazards at a greater distance.
In addition, it’s easy to “out drive” your low beams. Even moderate speeds may be too fast to react to road hazards because your low beams won’t illuminate them far enough in advance. Studies show that at 50 mph, a minimum total lamp intensity of 75,000 candela (cd) is needed to illuminate the driver’s forward view in order to help ensure that the driver can see and react to potential hazards in the road ahead.
Drivers Are Hesitant to Use Their High Beams
Drivers, for a number of reasons, hesitate to use their high beams. In fact, a U.S. Department of Transportation study found that high-beam headlamps are used less than 25% of the time in which driving conditions justify their use.
Why People Don’t Use Their High Beams:
1. They forget
2. They fear forgetting to switch them off when oncoming traffic appears, potentially annoying or temporarily “blinding” other drivers
3. They’re unable to switch them off fast enough
SmartBeam prevents these problems and ensures optimal use of a vehicle’s high beams. The system maximizes forward vision by automatically turning on the vehicle’s high beams when no other vehicle traffic is present, and reverting them back to their low-beam intensity when detecting either the headlamps of oncoming traffic or the taillamps of preceding vehicles.
Problems with Previous Systems
For years, the automotive industry has searched for lighting solutions that maximize forward vision without producing oncoming glare. Previous “automatic” high-beam controls systems abruptly changed from high to low beams and did not work well due to nuisance switching from non-vehicle light sources. They were also unable to effectively see preceding vehicle taillamps, and could not distinguish many types of light sources within an adequate time period.
SmartBeam solves the issues with previous systems and has performed well in demonstration test drives.`
The Grand Cherokee SmartBeam system is included with the Limited model “K” package. It is exclusive to the Limited and is not offered on Laredo models.
1. Select “Enable Auto HI Beams” from the Vehicle Information Center menu.
2. Turn the end of the multi-function control lever to the “A” (Auto) headlight position.
NOTE: This system will not activate until the vehicle is at or above 20 mph (32 km/h).
1. Pull back on the muti-function control lever to manually deactivate the system (normal operation of high beams).
2. Pull back on the multi-function control lever once again to re-activate the system.
NOTE: Broken, muddy, or obstructed headlights and taillights of vehicles in the field of view will cause headlights to remain on longer (closer to the vehicle). Also, dirt, film, and other obstructions on the windshield or camera lens will cause the system to function improperly.