BMW New Interior Light Architecture PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 07 December 2009
Inspired by the use and presentation of light in interior architecture, specialists at the BMW Group have revised and updated the complete interior in terms of light technology. An important source of inspiration in this context was the BMW Group’s cooperation with a strong partner company working so far only in architecture: Bartenbach Lichtlabor. The result is a brand-new world of experience in the automobile.

“The new light concept opens up brand-new design options and ideas in highlighting and accentuating the interior.”
(Hans-Peter Bailer, High-Value Design Project)

To create an emotional setting as a genuine experience, the BMW Group’s current Light Research Project covers a much wider range of design and features than in the past. The objective is to create and enhance an individual and harmonious cocoon of light within the car, leading to a brand-new concept inspired by interior architecture.

“The welcome scenario “–(Jan Seeburg,
responsible for interior space design)

The new light concept: welcoming and pleasant for the eyes:
This new light concept is astounding in its effect even from outside. Opening the car by remote control, the driver and passengers experience a welcome scenario with a stimulating feeling of generosity right from the start through the windows.

Register to
2010 International Geneva Motor Show PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 March 2010

Driving Vision News is publishing this week its report on the March 2010 Geneva Motor Show. For those who could not attend the show, you will find 45 pages presenting all the new concept and production cars exhibited in Geneva, with our usual zoom on their lighting equipment in relation with styling, safety and energy consumption.

This 2010's Geneva auto show was centred around one strong priority: the reduction of energy consumption.  Alternative power train technologies dominated the fair. Green being the key word,  Automakers have focused their communication on electric vehicles and power consumption reduction rather than on the comfort and safety benefits to be derived from lighting and DA technologies.
Main innovative concept cars shown:
• Citroën DS High Rider presented in an impressive booth
• Mercedes F800 which unveils MB's future styling direction
• Opel Flextreme which confirms the high level of GM/Opel innovation expertise in green cars
• SR1 and 5byPeugeot which preview Peugeot’s new flagship
• Fluence ZE and other concept cars which emphasise the involvement of Renault in electric cars
Main innovative production cars launched:
• Audi A1 and A8 which display the constant innovative spirit of Audi
• Ford Focus demonstrating Ford's strong ambition
• Nissan Leaf with innovative LED headlamp styling
• Toyota Auris with high-tech headlamp and dual-function fog/DRL lights
• Volvo S60 with pedestrian detection technology and innovative LED rear lamps

The 4 main takeaway points are:

• Geneva 2010 was totally focused on green cars
• Green promotion drowns out communication on lighting and driver assistance
• Front and rear of the car are increasingly the main areas of styling innovation and differentiation
• Many interesting production and concept cars were shown
I hope you will enjoy reading this report

General Editor

Lighting, DA Tech Popularity Depends on Price PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 March 2010
Last year, J.D. Power and Associates launched a survey designed to measure consumer familiarity, interest and purchase intent for emerging automotive technologies, both before and after an estimated market price is revealed.

Considering lighting and driver assistance systems, 2 conclusions suggest themselves:
1) There is a great correlation between the performance of the technology and the rank. The bigger the safety gain from a technology, the better is its rank.
2) There is a great correlation between the price of the technology and the rank
Lower is the price, better is the rank.
In the 14 involved features, the 7 first are at a price less than $500, while the last five are a market price higher than $1,000.

Customers like new technologies mainly when they offer a significant safety improvement, but they buy features at the lowest cost.
This point has to be considered with Xenon lighting. J.D. Power did not consider this technology in their survey but probably the rank would be in the first positions without considering market price and far behind when considering market price.
So, all lighting players have to work drastically to decrease the cost of Xenon technology. It is one of the main levers to increase worldwide Xenon take rate. Bring on the 25w Xenon system! While a premium car customer is not much troubled by a high price of a feature, the generalist car customer considers that at the first level.

General Editor

Editorial PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 March 2010
Two years ago, the TÜV Rheinland organisation presented a study of actual German traffic crash data showing up to 18% fewer fatal accidents as a result of the increased use of xenon headlamps. The study forecast that a full switch to xenon would prevent 1200 crashes on German roadways, and lower the nighttime traffic death toll by 18%. If these results remain valid when applied to Europe at large—and there's no reason to think they can't be—it would mean about 8,800 lives saved and 92,000 injury crashes prevented.

HMM, the Hannover Medical School, is publishing a study showing the positive effect of xenon headlampson safety. HMM has studied crashes from the GIDAS database involving cars equipped with halogen headlamps. Their analysis  is based on dynamic reconstruction of real crashes and simulation of the situation if the cars involved had been equipped with xenon lamps instead. They analysed in detail 20 cases of the most frequent types of nighttime crash; the results show that  4 of those 20 crashes could have been completely avoided if only the cars involved had been equipped with Xenon headlamps, and 6 others partially because speed or alcohol were also involved (see details in our in-depth section). Clearly a positive safety effect of Xenon headlamps has been established.

The combination of these 2 studies, the first statistical and the second practical, prove that Xenon headlighting is a safety feature which saves lives and prevents injury and property damage. All of us in the lighting community are wise to remember that, and to promote high-performance lighting systems more fervently and persistently.
Keeping Knowledge is Key for Western Success PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 February 2010
Louis Schweitzer, former Renault CEO from 1992 to 2005, left Renault when he was around 62 old. A few years later, he is appointed as the head of AB Volvo Truck. Many similar examples can be presented. What does it mean?

It means that we need experts to lead automotive companies as we need experts to develop technologies, manufacturing experts to produce, financial or marketing experts as well. Facing a situation wherein production sites are moving to low-cost countries, and where new Chinese or Indian companies are strongly competing with western companies, the only chance for Western companies to succeed is through continuous innovation, finding new products and new technologies which mean value for customers.

Here is our advice to confront this crisis:
Experts’ knowledge is the critical key to be able to compete with low-cost companies. Our management should invest in these experts and not thoughtlessly fire them when they reach some arbitrary age, even if younger employees can be paid less money. Firing experts saves money in the short term but is a grave error in the long run—the worst solution for the future.

In lighting, for instance, Vario-X, AFX, TriXenon, S-class and A8 headlamps have all been made possible only thanks to skilled experts from lighting suppliers but also car makers. Innovation is the unique issue to succeed and experts’ Knowledge is the trump card when competing with low cost companies. Got an expert in the house? Keep him well-fed and happy, push him to attend congresses!

Sincerely yours

General Editor

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