It’s growing more and more evident, most recently at ISAL 2015, that adaptive driving beam (glare-free high beam) is the future of roadway lighting by vehicles. But that’s the big picture; what are the details? Which technologies will “win” in the market to achieve this function? Will the light source(s) of choice come to be LEDs, lasers, or both? Will LED chips with hundreds of addressable pixels, MEMS, DMD, LCD, or some other technique be used to shape the beam—or will each vehicle segment have its own prevalent method? Some of the technologies related to advanced headlamps are already successfully used in consumer electronics such as video projectors. But their application in automotive systems presents new technical and cost challenges which require specific developments. In this week’s DVN, we look at these kinds of questions in context of lectures presented at ISAL.
Similarly-current questions concern signal and interior lighting functions; will it be LEDs, OLEDs, both, maybe some lasers? Will adaptive rear lighting systems finally gain substantial traction? And sequential turn signals, will they be allowed (in something like their present European form) in the American market? What about added-value features like welcome light and other functions?
Automotive lighting technologies have been moving forward very fast these last years, with premium vehicles leading the way and then popular-price segments following that direction once affordable versions of fancy lighting systems become available. The arrival of ADAS with the ultimate and loudspoken goal of autonomous cars rises another question for the lighting community: how will lighting technology and technique need to evolve with the progressive arrival of assisted driving and what roles will lighting play in the coexistence of human-driven and autonomous cars? It surely is an interesting time to be in this field!
DVN Editor in Chief