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From terrifying brakes to laser beams: how far car tech has come

Then – Feeble bulbs

Car Tech

Ever driven an old car at night? Then you'll realise just how awful headlights used to be. A pair of yellowing, feeble bulbs used to be about the best you could hope for unless you fancied a gantry of rally-style lamps hanging off your front bumper.

In fact, the headlights in most cars from even 10 years ago are a world away from the staggering power, clarity and intelligence of the latest technology.

Now – Frickin' laser beams

Car Tech

Yes, really. Both Audi and BMW now offer laser headlights with incredible range and power. Many others, from Lexus and Mercedes to more mainstream brands like Ford and VW, offer powerful xenon and LED lighting. It's not just about power, either.

Audi's Matrix LED headlights are super clever and capable of 'masking' their output to prevent dazzling other cars, highlighting hazards in the road ahead and 'steering' around corners. Some Audis can even use navigation data to illuminate corners and junctions without the driver turning the wheel.