Around 15 concept cars and 20 production cars — a number close to economic boom times — made their world debuts at the 79th Geneva Auto Show.
As a lighting expert who has been visiting motor shows for decades, I have been looking for any visible spark of innovation in design, style, or technology associated with front or rear lighting and will publish my report to Gold members on March 17, 2009.
These debut cars are sexy, stylish, and innovative thanks to headlamp and rear lamp design contributions, but the promotional buzz seldom includes much mention of the lighting equipment. Neither do the podiums highlight headlamp or rear lamp technologies. And still, obviously, lighting design remains one of the key differentiating factors in brand and model identity recognition.
It’s time we make some noise, isn’t it? Aside from the ecological and energy consumption paradigm, which we should give more attention in our automotive lighting communication, isn’t there place for other dreams? Couldn’t LEDs with their wonderful and flexible design possibilities open innovative avenues to attract new car buyers?
And still, we have materials to convince designers and to communicate:
– Xenon lights which have taken us so far ahead in nighttime safety
– Adaptive lighting, high beam assistant, non glaring high beam. Less than one decade ago, all these technologies were just an expert’s wild dream.
– LEDs with wonderful possibilities
– Styling optics for non functional parts
It is definitely time to act!
– Promoting safety through good lighting. We have data, pictures, movies, car buyer surveys, and more. Let’s shout about them! See this week’s interview with Lex Krzyzanowski, chairman of the LightSightSafety initiative.
– Finding solutions by working together to share our experiences — automakers and lighting suppliers alike.
It’s true that many automakers will slow their product development plans in order to save cash right now and try to extend their existing vehicle cycle. It’s true that most of our R&D projects will have to wait for better times. But we mustn’t give up communicating about the added perceived quality given through innovative lighting technologies.
This is what I was repeating to myself, remembering an automaker chairman telling me: “Creating a genuine emotion built on front and rear lighting design of a car is its best signature”.