From Pr Khanh, DUT Darmstadt
In the current product development we are speaking on the reduction of power consumption to reduce CO 2 emissions and on the utilization of the adaptive driving beam. From the view of a scientist, the research of today is the basis for the technological development in the next future for which the following aspects can be considered:
Lighting technology taking into account the demographical development :
The elderly population is increasing in Western countries at a dramatic rate. In the USA, according to the U.S. Census Bureau projection (2005), by 2030 growth in the population aged over 65 will outstrip American population growth by a factor of 3.5. Compared to 36 mill. elderly in 2004 (12% of the population), the forecasted number is 70 mill. (20%) by 2030 and 82 mill. (21%) by 2050. It is evident that the driving population also becomes older. Indeed, the average driver’s age in the USA is 57 years. In European countries, most likely, it is not very different. In Germany, according to a recent B&D-Forecast study, those aged 60+ make up 29% of new-car customers; and of them, 1/3 are aged 70 or older. This has implications for road safety as older drivers are reported to have a higher number of crashes per distance traveled than both young and middle-aged drivers. For the general automotive industry and the automotive lighting divisions, these statistics imply that when designing a new car model, effects of aging in its potential purchasers should be taken into account.
Optimisation of the lamp spectra :
Currently, the evaluations of the lighting products (HID-lamps, LEDs) are based on the knowledge of the photopic vision with a luminance greater more than 10 cd/m 2 . For street lighting and automotive lighting conditions in the dark hours, other evaluation mesopic systems have to be used in order to optimize the spectra of the HID-lamps (25 W and 35 W) and white LEDs for improving the conspicuity of the objects on and near the road and the road marking. In this context, we all are at the beginning of the process.
Research for rear lamp products and interior illumination
At the moment, it seems to be, that we have often spoken about headlamp lighting developments. In the current SAE and ECE-standards for rear lamps, we can find luminous intensity values to be fulfilled independent on the weather and light conditions as like independent on the road situations. The research on the adaptive rear lamp system and on the interior lighting for improvement of well-being and contrast vision of the drivers is necessary in the next future.
In this context, the automotive industry and the university science shall cooperate closer in the next years.
Tran Quoc Khanh, Laboratory for Lighting Technology/ DUT Darmstadt, Germany