We’re rapidly approaching the one year anniversary of the arrival of the Cadillac XT6 in the U.S. market. During that time, the three-row luxury crossover SUV has grown in popularity as it gets established in the highly-competitive segment. And though we’ve penned many words about the biggest Caddy crossover, there is one feature in particular that has gone unreported, and it concerns the Cadillac XT6 lights.
The feature in question is called Adaptive Driving Beam, or ADB. It is a progression of automatic high-beam headlights – branded as IntelliBeam in Cadillac vehicles – but works in a completely different way.
Instead of turning high beams on or off like IntelliBeam, ADB keeps the vehicle’s high beams turned on all the time. When an oncoming vehicle is detected, the system “shades” the appropriate area of the headlight so as to prevent glare that could interfere with the vision of the other driver.
ADB only works on the up-level / premium LED headlamp system, which is optional in the XT6 (included only on models with the Platinum Package). In other words, ADB is not included in the the base LED system because it requires several LED projects to function. While the standard Cadillac XT6 lights have a single LED projector, the premium headlights feature three LED projectors.
One of those three is for close-up lighting, while the remaining two are for high-beam lighting. Each of the two high-beam projectors contain seven LED segments with individual control, for a total of 14 light segments.
All that results in the most advanced lighting system Cadillac has ever offered. And, as Cadillac Society recently learned, Adaptive Driving Beam is only enabled on XT6 models sold outside North America, while models in North America ship with ADB disabled. That’s because the technology is currently not legal in the United States due to antiquated vehicle lighting regulations, which are determined by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Over the past few years, various automakers and industry firms, including AAA, have petitioned NHTSA to change the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to allow vehicles with ADB to be sold in the U.S. In fact, Cadillac Society learned from sources close to the XT6 project that the crossover was developed with ADB from the very beginning in hopes that NHTSA would update FMVSS by the time the XT6 became available. Alas, that did not materialize, and is still not the case today.
Cadillac Society has also learned that if (or when) NHTSA finally gets around to updating its regulations to allow cars to utilize ADB, Cadillac could choose to enable the feature in owners’ vehicles via a flash update. A flash update is a physical update that takes place at a dealership, rather than one that is performed Over-The-Air via the OnStar 4G connection.
But for the time being, Cadillac XT6 owners outside North America – such as in China, the Middle East, South Korea and Russia – should relish knowing that their Cadillac XT6 lights are at the bleeding edge of headlight technology, while owners in the U.S. should do what they can to give NHTSA a nice
push kick in the derrière.
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