Automatic HeadLight Leveling project

My project is to use a pair of existing 12v push rod servos (Hella) to direct the headlamps in the Y+/Y- axis only. The rough sketch is use to use an ARDUINO uno and MPU 6050. I will be only using the accelerometer function of the MPU 6050 which will detect Y axis changes and then send a 5 volt signal to a dual channel 12v volt relay. The relay will then energize the 12 volt servos. But then I thought about driving conditions and how constant movement may cause inaccuracies with the position of servos. I was thinking about using potentiometers to set limits and remember last position (-50....0....50). The design would use a gear/cog replacing the knob of the potentiometer and that gear/cog would run parallel to a gear track placed on the flat surface of the servo push rod section. So as the servo push rod either advances or recedes it will simultaneously move the potentiometer; giving exact position of the push rod servo. Can any of you please give me feedback on this or advice?

Thanks

Are You sure it's legal in Your country when the car is going for an inspection? In many countries it would be illegal.

pray2crom:
I was thinking about using potentiometers to set limits and remember last position (-50....0....50). The design would use a gear/cog replacing the knob of the potentiometer and that gear/cog would run parallel to a gear track placed on the flat surface of the servo push rod section.

A feedback servo might be easier to deal with.

Railroader:
Are You sure it's legal in Your country when the car is going for an inspection? In many countries it would be illegal.

I am from the US, California. Are auto leveling headlight systems illegal in the states?

Hi,
I can remember way way back in the late 70's Lancia Beta had levelling headlights of a sort.
The used a glycol hydraulic system, that was connected the the front suspension.
If the car front lifted the lights pointed down to compensate and vice-versa.

Tom... :slight_smile:

An accelerometer will only detect the vehicles position relative to level when not affected by bumps etc, and will for example not detect the difference between going uphill and a heavy rear load.

I think TomGeorge's suggestion in #4 about monitoring the suspension is a better approach.

I think servos may not be strong enough - a bump in the road could move the relatively heavy headlamp .

Consider :
1.it may not be legal ?
2. What does your insurance company say?
3. What happens when it goes wrong ( liability if you cause an accident).

The benefits are small and although interesting , probably not worth the hassle IMO.

What is level and how do you know it is level? There are hills etc and I assume it will be turned off in the daytime? How will you calibrate it and keep it calibrated? You might want to read the FMVSS and NITSA requirements if in the US. Then there is all the electrical noise, a car will tolerate voltages from about 6.5V to about 24V. They also tolerate reverse battery and load dump, hopefully if you drive at night your system will tolerate that as well. In a lot of areas it is illegal to modify a safety system.