Monday, June 12, 2017

Auto high beams

AHB, Auto high beams, high-beam assist - there's a dozen different ways car makers sell this particular driver aid and for the first time in years, it's something I'd actually want in a car. I was in England last week and had a rented car with auto high beams. On dark country roads and unlit sections of main roads, high beams are a must-have but you need to be on-point about dipping them when there's oncoming traffic. AHB systems do that for you. Rather than flick the light control between high and low, there's an intermediate setting for 'auto high' which dips the beams back to main headlights when the car senses something coming the other way (or the tail lights of the car in front) and then goes back to high beams automatically when the system considers it safe to do so.
This is a total godsend when driving on dark roads as you can concentrate on driving and not worry about dazzling oncoming drivers.
Long-time readers will know I'm not exactly the world's biggest fan of driver aids (I won't even get in a car with auto-braking and lane-change assist after that disastrous Volvo experience a couple of years ago). But AHB is something I'd actually want in a new car.
Side note: the owners manual on this particular car (Skoda Octavia) was less than useless when it came to explaining what the AHB system was. I had to figure it out by trial and error.

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