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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

This is my first post, but most probably it won't be the last one, since I'm ordering a new V40 soon.

I'm outside UK, so perhaps the options are slightly different. I hope you can still help me.

I'm having some problems understanding what the option 645 "Active Bending LED Headlights" changes are against the standard LED headlights that the inscription trim level has.

The dealer told me that I need the "Active Bending LED Headlights" in order to have full LED, but after some research, I suspect that the car would have full LED anyway, even without the option. Am I right?

From what I understand, the only change of 645 option seems to be that the lights are "bending" 15º, so now I'm hesitating if choosing it or not...
Is this the only difference or are there more changes? It doesn't seem to be much for a 500 GBP option...

At the beginning I was thinking that it was some "intelligent" system as I think other Volvos have, able to turn off only a part of the headlights if a car is in front of you, but I guess this system is not available for the V40. Is it correct?

Thanks!
 

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The current UK brochure shows that the LED headlamps are standard-fit across the range.
http://www.volvocars.com/uk/~/media/united-kingdom/documents/pricelists/volvo-v40-pricelist.pdf
The MY17 user manual does still show both halogen and LED headlamps so I'm assuming that in some markets the LED lamps are still an option (or possibly not available due to legal issues).

The Active Bending headlamps was an additional option on the previous model years for the Xenon headlamps, so it looks like it's been carried forward for the LED headlamps. In the UK it's only avaialble as part of the Winter Plus pack. The other feature you mention is Active High Beam, which automatically switches between high and dipped beam if the car detects an approaching vehicle. This is part of the Intellisafe Pro pack in the UK (along with the laine keeping aid, BLIS, Road sign recognition, Adaptive Cruise etc). It is also part of the Driver Support option (a subset of the features form the Intellisafe Pro pack) with the rain sensor/auto wipers as a prerequisite option.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot!

I will try to get some confirmation from the dealer, but it definitively looks like the option is just the same LED headlights but bending. For around 500 GBP, I don't think it's worth...Is it?
 

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From the sounds of it Australian-spec V40s pretty much follow the UK spec (which is probably not surprising). All Aussie-spec MY17 V40s have the LED headlights. However they are fixed and the Active Bending LED headlights are an extra cost factory option. In some respects this is actually a backward step from pre-MY17 V40s where the higher spec V40s had the adaptive Xenon headlights as standard.

As the name suggest, active bending headlights slightly turn with the turning of the steering wheel. Very useful for lighting up the side of the road on sweeping bends on the open road at night. For me they are worth the extra cost but then we do a fair bit of country driving at night. If you don't do that much country road driving at night then just the standard fixed LED headlights would probably suffice. And yes I understand the actual LED headlights in both the standard fixed LED headlights and the optional active bending headlights are the same.

With the Active High Beam (as with UK spec part of an optional Driver Support pack), my understanding of how they work is a little different. Rather than automatically switching between high and low beam, the lights actually stay on high beam the whole time and parts of the beam are mechanically shaded out as required for both oncoming and preceding traffic. Great idea. Again very useful at night on country roads where normally when you dipped your high beam you lost illumination of the side of the road. Again I'm biased because of the amount of country driving I do.

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With the Active High Beam (as with UK spec part of an optional Driver Support pack), my understanding of how they work is a little different. Rather than automatically switching between high and low beam, the lights actually stay on high beam the whole time and parts of the beam are mechanically shaded out as required for both oncoming and preceding traffic. Great idea. Again very useful at night on country roads where normally when you dipped your high beam you lost illumination of the side of the road. Again I'm biased because of the amount of country driving I do.
Thanks Tony!

So you have all these options in your car? Can you confirm if the active high beam actually behaves like being always in high beam but shading only the part where the other cars are (like in the photo)?


 

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With the Active High Beam (as with UK spec part of an optional Driver Support pack), my understanding of how they work is a little different. Rather than automatically switching between high and low beam, the lights actually stay on high beam the whole time and parts of the beam are mechanically shaded out as required for both oncoming and preceding traffic. Great idea.
That's exactly how the Xenon headlight units work. The xenon lamp provides both high and low beam by means of an electromechanical shutter that blocks off part of the high beam to provide the low beam pattern. However, even on the Xenon headlights the bulk of the high beam illumination is provided by a pair of halogen bulbs that work alongside the xenon bulb.

As well as activating the shutter on the xenon lamp, the Active High Beam function also turns the halogen bulbs off. You can see it in action in this video of a 2015 V60 (when the car detects the headlamps of the oncoming vehicle it turns the halogen bulbs off and the beam pattern of the xenon lamp changes):
https://youtu.be/EW04-tdNPpM?t=1m50s
If you go back to the start of the video you can see the Active bending function in action too.
 

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Thanks Tony!

So you have all these options in your car? Can you confirm if the active high beam actually behaves like being always in high beam but shading only the part where the other cars are (like in the photo)?
The Active High Beam function is not on all the time the headlamps are illuminated - it's only active if it's enabled in the car's menu and you have the high beams illuminated via the column stalk. The 'normal' state of the headlamps when they are turned on on (either on manually or Auto mode) is dipped/low beams.

As mentioned in my post above, on the Xenon hesdlamps at least the AHB function turns off the halogen main beam bulbs and activates the shutters on the xenon bulbs, so it goes totally to low beam until the approaching vehicle passes. It doesn't just blank a portion of the high beam.

Judging by the videos of LED headlamps on the current XC90 (which are similar to the MY17 V40s) they appear to work slightly differently. There are 4 LED light units in each headlamp that are aimed to different points and the Active High Beam feature appears to turn the individual lamp units on and off depending on where the traffic appears in it's vision sensor.
My impression after watching that video is I would find the sections of the beam pattern turning on and off a bit annoying, but maybe you would get used to it after a while
 

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Thanks Tony!

So you have all these options in your car? Can you confirm if the active high beam actually behaves like being always in high beam but shading only the part where the other cars are (like in the photo)?
...............
I don't have a MY17 V40. I do have on order a MY17 V60CC T5 AWD. Plenty of experience in past Volvos and my current X3 with the active bending headlights and - again based on the amount of country nighttime driving I do - wouldn't be without the bending lights whether they be LED or xenons.

With the adaptive high beams, other than what I've seen a similar videos, I don't have any first hand experience of the system on a Volvo (I will have it on the V60 I have on order). However I have spent some time in a BMW X3 with a similar setup (shading of the LED headlights) and the blocking out of traffic does work - up to a point. I would expect it to be similar with the Volvos. However the system is not perfect. Its a camera-based system which rely on the headlights of on-coming cars and the tail-lights of preceding cars being in direct line of sight in front of you. Anyone who does nighttime driving on a darkened road can always see on-coming traffic coming - whether that be around a bend or over a rise in the roadway. And the courteous thing to do is to dip your high beam before the on-coming car/truck/etc actually comes into actual view directly ahead of you. The auto high beam doesn't work like that - it has to wait until the actual lights of the on-coming car is in view before it acts to dip or shade the high beam. This can result is the high-beam in the eyes of the on-coming driver for what seems like a second or two before it reacts. In the time with the X3 I was repeatedly being flashed by on-coming traffic where it comes round a bend or over the top of a rise. You will notice that in all of the demonstration videos (at least the ones I've seen) the demonstration of the auto high beam is usually on a nice straight stretch of road or on a very gentle curve of a motorway.

So again whether the system will be of any use to yourself will depend upon your driving situation. But if like at least like the UK and Australian market, the active high beam is not a standalone option but is part of a Driver Support pack which does contain such goodies as BLIS (much better these days), adaptive cruise control and speed sign reading. I would get the Driver Support package simply for those items and the adapative high beam would be just a bonus.

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again!

I've been talking to the dealer and he has told me that the bending lights are more powerful than the standard LED ones. Is it truth or not, I don't know...

Since I don't drive a lot during the night, I've finally decided not to take the option.
500 GBP and adding another moving mechanical thing that can eventually break helped me a bit...
 

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At the dealership (in the UK), the sales guy said adaptive LED headlights were standard across the range. i.e. they are like high beam but avoid dazzling cars in front of you.

However I see in the brochure that "Active bending LED headlights" are part of the Winter Plus option pack
Also "Active high beam" is part of the Intellisafe Pro pack

Further confusing in the Winter Plus pack description it says "Active Bending Headlights with Adaptive Shadow Technology" and then mentions "With Active High Beam (included in our Driver Alert System) you can stay on high beam all the time..."

Does this mean Active High Beam is part of the "Active Bending Headlights with Adaptive Shadow Technology" system included in the Winter Plus pack ?

Do the standard LED headlights adapt at all or maybe just "self-level"?
 

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At the dealership (in the UK), the sales guy said adaptive LED headlights were standard across the range. i.e. they are like high beam but avoid dazzling cars in front of you.

However I see in the brochure that "Active bending LED headlights" are part of the Winter Plus option pack
Also "Active high beam" is part of the Intellisafe Pro pack

Further confusing in the Winter Plus pack description it says "Active Bending Headlights with Adaptive Shadow Technology" and then mentions "With Active High Beam (included in our Driver Alert System) you can stay on high beam all the time..."

Does this mean Active High Beam is part of the "Active Bending Headlights with Adaptive Shadow Technology" system included in the Winter Plus pack ?

Do the standard LED headlights adapt at all or maybe just "self-level"?
Xenons and LEDs are both self-levelling by legal requirement. The "Active High Beam" feature is not standard - that's a part of IntelliSafe Pro.

As I remember, all of the Xenons were bending. The LEDs are not bending as standard - only on Winter Plus models. Incidentally the bending motion on the LEDs is much faster and more jarring than on the Xenons, which was very smooth and ignorable.

I think the Xenon Active High Beam was done with the shadowing system which blocks out individual parts of the beam. The LEDs with Active High Beam don't do this - they're just on and off.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
At the dealership (in the UK), the sales guy said adaptive LED headlights were standard across the range. i.e. they are like high beam but avoid dazzling cars in front of you.

However I see in the brochure that "Active bending LED headlights" are part of the Winter Plus option pack
Also "Active high beam" is part of the Intellisafe Pro pack

Further confusing in the Winter Plus pack description it says "Active Bending Headlights with Adaptive Shadow Technology" and then mentions "With Active High Beam (included in our Driver Alert System) you can stay on high beam all the time..."

Does this mean Active High Beam is part of the "Active Bending Headlights with Adaptive Shadow Technology" system included in the Winter Plus pack ?

Do the standard LED headlights adapt at all or maybe just "self-level"?
I have standard LED and they "self-level" (you can see it when turning the car on) and that's all.

"Active high beam" and "turning headlights (bending?)" are two separate options not included by default. At least in market when I bought my MY2017
 

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We got caught out by this when we bought new. On our my17 with LED headlamps as standard it goes like this (UK market).

1.) Standard LED lamps are just the traditional low/high beam operated on the stalk. LED headlamps beam patterns dont change like the previous bi-xenon system and dont need levelling or adjustment even when travelling on the continent. They dont corner.
2.) If you buy the package including lane keeping aid etc (safety and security section) for £700 you also get what is called 'auto high beam'. All this does is to automate the switch from high to low and vice versa. Thus you have your lights on the auto setting switch so they not only come and off automatically but also switch between high and low as required.
3.) If you buy the winter plus pack £750 you get the latest technology of 'shadow tech'. This is a completely different system that is basically lights on full beam at all times but has blanking plates that automatically react to sensing approaching or following vehicles and shut out the high beam for that part of beam.

Therefore it doesn't make sense to me that you would need to have auto high beam for the adaptive tech to work. I would get the tech staff at the dealer to confirm for you what packages you need to get what you want. We trusted the salesman and got the wrong package, doh!
 

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The Active High Beam system uses the Driver Assist (Lane Keeping Aid/Cross Traffic Alert/Roadsign Recognition) camera as it's vision sensor, which is why it's included in the Intellisafe Pro pack (or as part of the standalone Lane Keeping Aid option).

The Active Bending LED Headlamps are only available as part of the Winter Plus pack. They do not have the Active High Beam functionality unless the car is also ordered with the Intellisafe Pro pack or the separate Lane Keeping Aid option.

The V40 and new XC40 do not have the same Active Shadow Technology headlamps as the 60 and 90 series cars. The new V60 is the lowest model in the range that has them. There was a mild furore on the XC40 forums as the early sales literature and first and second editions of the price list said it would have AST on Pro models, but it seemed Volvo had just cut and pasted the text from the XC60 literature.

They have done the same on the V40 configurator on the Volvo UK website - it mentions AST on the Bending headlamps in the Winter Pack, but also mentions that Active High Beam is required (even on the 60 and 90 series, the Lane Keeping Aid camera is required to make it work).

Check the differences between the MY19 XC60 and the MY19 V40 and XC40 owners manuals regarding the Active Main Beam function - the XC60 has 2 sections, one describing the operation for Active Main Beam with the on/off function (i,e, Active High Beam) and another describing the operation of the Active main Beam with the Adaptive function (i.e. AST) with a note stating the system depends on the car's specification. The V40 and XC40 manuals only describe the Active High Beam with on/off functionality..
 
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