Following on our DVN reports PSA and Lighting and Audi and Lighting , we are proud to publish this week our newest automaker report: Mercedes-Benz and Lighting .
Mercedes-Benz is probably the car maker which has made the biggest improvements in lighting over the last 2 decades. Twenty years ago, Audi and BMW were actively developing and commercialising the newest technologies of the time, such as projector headlamps, while Mercedes carried on installing basic H4 headlamps on all their models. But now Mercedes is a very close number 2 in the race for the best automaker with respect to lighting. How can we explain this?
Probably by the combination of 3 factors:
1. The commitment of Uwe Kostanzer, Head of Light System Development, his vision and his power to push his point of view up to the top of the company. Uwe is doing a great good for lighting as a whole.
2. The involvement of Styling and marketing.
3. Daimler-Benz top management spending money on lighting—perhaps this is both a cause and a result of the first two factors.
Some car makers today still do not consider lighting as a key selling factor. For them headlamps and other lighting equipment are commodities without influence on buyers’ perception or on safety. Some others—Audi and Wolfgang Huhn have been pioneering in this approach—believe lighting can be a trump card in building the identity of a car, and work tirelessly to convince styling, marketing, and electronics departments until their point is accepted .
I was invited a few days ago to a workshop organized by Audi and dedicated to active safety, lighting, and driver assistance. I was very impressed! There was a great light tunnel with projection on a wall of 100m × 10m, a lot of cars equipped with the latest technologies, products, experts explaining the technologies, and mock-ups giving a vision of the future in lighting. Indeed, it was a wonderful workshop which showed the attendees that Audi have been hard at work building what can only be described as a lighting culture.
The lighting community say thank you to all these car maker teams working to promote lighting not only for the sake of lighting but for the interest of their company.
DVN General editor