Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Tesla cars have bad headlights. It's just that there are other brands out there that continue to push what's possible and I'd like to see Tesla in the race.
What does Tesla use for their headlights?
Oh good question, me. Standard for all models, they use an LED setup that reacts to your steering input and switches between high/low beams whenever a car is spotted in the distance (essentially auto-high beam). They also have fog lamps which are handy during junction turns and parking. But sadly, that's it.
Now this is totally acceptable for the Model 3. Because the 3 is meant to be an affordable car and fancy headlamps cost! What I find slightly unacceptable is when it comes to the Model S and X. These cars are undoubtedly 'premium' vehicles because that's what it's priced as. So it's sad to see that they're left behind by other brands in this department because in other departments, Teslas can be a real competitor (if not leading the pack).
So how do other brands stack up?
Well let's look at Audi shall we? Arguably the gods and pioneers of fancy headlights. Obviously other brands may not have similar technologies but we'll look at Audi as a comparison. On top of what's used by Tesla, Audi provides Matrix headlamps (aka adaptive headlights or some other names but let's just call them matrix yeah). Matrix headlights is special because instead of using a few powerful LED 'bulbs', they get segregated into pixels (smaller bulbs). These pixels allow higher resolution so more specific shadows can be casted. The higher the pixel count, the better shadows these lights can produce.
In practice then, these shadows are created for oncoming traffic so you can enjoy high beam continuously without blinding other people. Most brands (Audi, Merc, Polestar, etc) use matrix lights with 84 pixels however the trend indicates that that number will go up.
Why does this matter?
Honestly speaking, It's mostly for convenience, a splash of safety, and a dash of fancy gimmick. Heck it could probably improve Autopilot's vision in night time since a larger part of the road will be lit at times. But the bottom line is there's no reason why Tesla shouldn't put 'premium' headlights in their premium cars. Buyers should expect this. After all this is essentially a tech item, and we all know how good Teslas are in tech. So here's to hoping for better headlights on a Tesla.
P.s. Let's talk about laser lights in a future post okay? :)