If you’re like me, most of your experience with car headlights has been to switch them from dim to slightly less dim so you can try to avoid hitting all the deer on a drive down a rural road. Car headlamps have come a hell of a long way from the days of old sealed beams you could buy in a gas station—they’re now absurdly advanced lighting subsystems with matrices of lamps and computers and GPS data. Of course, most of these benefits are actually illegal in the U.S., so let’s just take a moment to peek at the current state of the headlampery arts.
I realized how out of touch I was regarding modern headlights this past week when I finally got a chance to drive Porsche’s new EV, the Taycan. It’s a fun car, gut-shovingly quick and crammed full of all kinds of technology, but it’s the one bit that wasn’t even enabled on the car I drove that surprised me the most: GPS-enabled headlights.