In the ElectroOptics March 2020 monthly edition, Matthew Dale explains in three pages, to the photonic comminuty, how high-resolution LED matrices and blue lasers increase the functionality of automotive lighting. He focused his article on ADB, presenting Osram’s technology; and on laser, presenting SLD technology.
• Osram developed Eviyos, a solid-state active LED pixel matrix capable of catering for ADB, while at the same time projecting high resolution symbols, such as navigation prompts, distance warnings, or road condition warnings (photo) onto the road for the driver or other road users to see.The first iteration of the technology, which will be available commercially this year, comprises a matrix of 1,024 individually-controllable pixels on a single LED chip. The next iteration, under development and due for release in 2023, will feature 25,600 pixels.
• SLD Laser are developing lasers for vehicle lighting. The lasers’ great brightness brings the ability to fulfill the maximum visibility that road lighting regulations allow in compact form factors. Co-founder Dr. Paul Rudy says “The laser technology enables the creation of eye-safe, high-brightness headlights that are highly efficient, cost-effective, and compact. With it, we have been able to completely eliminate droop, while being around a hundred times brighter than LEDs. We can achieve maximum visibility, most light on the road and maximum range, with the smallest possible headlight—which helps with the styling of vehicles. We are working with automotive-certified, 1mm bi-axial MEMS mirrors, which can be used to shape the laser light in patterns with very high luminance per pixel. We’re currently in the range of 0.5° to 1° resolution, with the expectation of being able to get to 0.1° resolution in the future”.
The SLD solution can fit into a 50mm cube capable of providing full automotive lighting functionality in any pattern of light, including ADB. As of last year, SLD Laser’s headlight technology can be found on the road in BMW’s M5 cars. Rudy noted that will also be available on vehicles from other top-tier automotive firms in the future.
SLD also are working on laser-based communication and sensing. The laser light can be coupled into fibres that can then be used to either transport or emit the light. The latter option, known as emissive fibre, could be used for æsthetic lighting on the interior and exterior of vehicles, which could then be used to transmit data via lifi. Rudy says tail and side lights are also possible, meaning data could effectively be sent in all directions from vehicles via lifi. The eventual idea is SLD lasers being used in smart city scenarios, for example for communication between vehicles, or between streetlights and vehicles.