A month ago I was in England for a night drive with Jaguar—read about it in the DVN JLR Report we published two weeks ago.
To get to Gaydon I got a rental car. It was equipped with ADB, and when I went back to the hotel after the night drive I was surprised to see the beam shadow not properly positioned horizontally in front the opposite car; the result being glare to the oncoming driver.
During my huge number of night drives with rental cars, I have many times seen bad vertical aim, but this was the first time I’ve seen bad horizontal aiming of ADB. I do not know if it was a mechanical problem or a software problem, but the consequence is a bad performance of the ADB, glaring the opposite drivers.
Another important point with the aiming is the effect of dirty lenses which decrease seeing distance and increase glare and backdazzle. With the arrival of ADB, the dirty lens has another consequence: decreased resolution and increased glare with changing sharpness of the vertical cutoff, which will be more critical with the arrival of pixel lights and DMD, LCD, or laser scanning.
At ISAL I liked the lecture of TU Darmstadt’s C. Schiller, about the efficiency of headlamp cleaning devices and the impact on stray light. And that was just one of several good lectures at ISAL about how to improve aiming in the cars on the road. I like the Koito communication on aiming at the Tokyo motor show—see coverage in this week’s News.
Aiming and cleaning are not popular or fun topics, but we must have more efficient aiming and cleaning with the arrival of ADB and the improving resolution. We can be very proud of the many interesting and very clever new technologies, but if we do not address the basic needs we won’t really have succeeded. We have to take in mind aiming and cleaning, even though it is much more fascinating to think about the new technologies. Car makers have to push their suppliers to take in account these needs. Lighting suppliers have to keep working to solve the basic problems of lighting; even the best headlamp is useless and dangerous if it is improperly aimed.