Legislation for automotive lighting still varies from region to region. In the USA, legislation only permits the classic main light functions of low beam, fog light and high beam, while in the EU dynamic light distribution up to digitally controlled glare-free high beam is permitted.
To ensure the specified light distribution, different optical systems are developed and manufactured for vehicle headlamps depending on the area they are going to be used in. Taking into account right- and left-hand traffic, up to 12 technically different types of headlamps may therefore be required for a global vehicle model.
Hella will take a step to obviate the need for such hardware proliferation when they launch a new worldwide headlamp this summer for an automaker selling worldwide. The output from this SSL 100 headlamp module is determined by controlling it via software. The digital control can activate each pixel individually and display the entire light distribution according to the respective regional regulations. For example, just one headlamp module can now give ideal illumination of a roundabout in right- or left-hand traffic and prevent oncoming traffic from being dazzled, within whatever regulations are in force where the vehicle is being used.
Hella are working consistently on the digitalisation of light and will in future digitally cover the entire range of LED headlamps from 100 light pixels to high-resolution SSL|HD technologies with tens of thousands of light pixels. Dr. Michael Kleinkes, Hella’s Global Lighting Technology Development Manager, says “With our innovative headlamp modules, we have a technical basis for implementing all lighting functions by using software and flexibly adapting them to regional requirements. This also includes additional functions such as glare-free high beam or projected orientation lines on the road”.
Production of the headlamp will start in the middle of this year at the Mexican Hella plant in Irapuato, and end of the year at the Chinese Hella plant in Jiaxing.