Greetings from Japan, DVN community members!
It has certainly been interesting growing into my present role as chief editor of Driving Vision News, clearly identified as an independent expert passionate about lighting. Doors at the world’s automotive lighting suppliers seemed open rather wider to me. And I can certify there’s still a great deal of interesting, topical and timely information to help us all keep up the scorching pace of technical and technological development.
I’ve just spent a fantastic week in Japan seeing firsthand how quickly LED headlamps are moving away from being novelties and towards being standard mainstream technology. Since Toyota’s emphasis shift to prioritise the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, Japanese carmakers have begun to focus their efforts to reduce weight and energy consumption of lighting devices and systems.
For a lighting supplier, the main lever to reduce energy consumption is definitely LEDs. We now discover several headlamps in production (Mitsubishi i-MiEV, two Lexus models, Toyota Prius) and many more headlamps in development, not to mention rear lamps with LED tail/stop functions for most of them. There is also the weight reduction angle to consider. Koito say their new headlamp saves 30% of the weight of a conventional headlamp on the new Lexus.
In the next weeks, we will present more details on this development. Koito, Ichikoh and Stanley anticipate that in 2015, LEDs will be better than Xenon from the performance and cost standpoint. They’re hard at work on innovations to reduce the mass of heat management components and improve lighting output. Watch Driving Vision News for views from automakers in context of the new developments shown at the Tokyo motor show, and for exclusive interviews with Koito, Ichikoh, and Stanley R&D executives.