One of the most difficult things for a manager to do is to maintain a clear, up-to-date overview of the various apposite technologies and their state of development and cost-effectiveness, etc. Such an overview is essential to prioritise investments in engineering and production, people and material.
In the lighting world, we have tools to help: concept cars at auto shows for styling and design trends, and congresses and symposia and workshops for functional, engineering, and regulatory trends.
If we analyse auto shows and congresses since the beginning of the year—NAIAS, DVN Detroit workshop, Geneva auto show, abstracts of DVN Shanghai workshop and ISAL—we can have a clear idea on the technology trends:
• LED/Laser/OLED following a short opportunity window for 25W HID
• Matrix beam, Adaptive Driving Beam, Spot Marking Light, Glare Free High Beam which will be the stars of the 10 next years.
It is wise and well for us to mind that these technologies are on the radar of all the world’s OEMs and car makers—these companies are all worldwide and the needs of the world’s drivers are more and more convergent.
A big stumbling block continues to hinder the rollout of better, safer lighting, though: the differences between UN and American regulations regarding ADB, Spot Marking Light, Glare Free High Beam and other modern lighting technology. For the most part, the new technology is already well catered for in the UN regulations; the lag is lopsidedly on the American end. NHTSA’s attendance at recent DVN workshops has been very encouraging; it is clear they are listening and interested. But it is difficult to predict what NHTSA will do, or when; the American situation is no more clear today than last year. Nevertheless, some progress can reasonably be anticipated on strength of the 2 panel sessions at the DVN workshops in Detroit and the forthcoming SAE/NHTSA meetings on the subject.
Now more than ever, we as a lighting community are all paddling the boat in the same direction, speaking to NHTSA with a unified voice…let’s keep it up; that’s what it will take.
DVN Editor in Chief