Fifty-five years ago, modern vehicle lighting began to get its start, first with the single-filament halogen headlight bulb (first was H1 in 1962) and then the world’s first two-filament halogen (H4 in 1968, legal throughout Europe by 1972). The use of computers started at this time, too. To make calculations, we shared time with other companies on big machines made by the likes of IBM, HP, and Honeywell. Fortran programming language was used at that time; it was cumbersome, but we were nevertheless very happy to have relatively fast results for calculations which were becoming complicated. Those results let us work with simulated candela on a screen. It was all very primitive compared to today’s virtual reality simulations, but it was a start, and it was a real breakthrough at that time.
The second big breakthrough was when we got able to simulate pictures of the light on a screen and then on the road. Then, it was possible to simulate dynamic lighting. We really thought it was the end of major simulation breakthroughs, and figured we’d see only incremental improvements in the speed of calculation and quality of the pictures.
But no, the evolution was not finished, as it turns out. 2D dynamic light on a screen is not the end of it; now we can have real light, just like from a prototype, but without the hassle and expense of making prototypes. Instead it comes from two highly programmable beamers with extreme lighting power capability. Read all about it in this week’s news.