A major breakthrough in improving visibility, safety and comfort under all driving conditions is given by a headlamp with adjustable light intensity and beam pattern according to the vehicle speed, steering wheel angles and different driving conditions.The configuration of this adaptive or intelligent headlamp will be achieved in two phases, by implementation of simple functions, i.e. motorway beam pattern, followed by a combination of them in a second phase. For the new adaptive headlamp one should make use of powerful light sources like the Gas Discharge Bulb and of sensors for road surface status, speed and steering wheel angle. The optical design of the adaptive headlamp is more complex than for conventional headlamps and must take into account new requirements like the continuous transition between the low and high beam positions.In this paper we describe the design and prototyping phases for an adaptive headlamp whose beam pattern and aiming condition can be varied by the use of actuators. The results of the optical simulations are given and compared with the corresponding prototype measurements.