Most DVN Reports on technology and technique have focussed on headlamps and other front lighting, as there are so many astonishing innovations to speak about in that domain. But rear lighting also deserves attention, don’t you think? We do!
Design at the rear is at least as important as the front face of the car; in traffic when we’re following other cars, we see only the rear design. Moreover, signalling is only growing in importance, with a growing list of functions and modalities for safety and communication, now and in the autonomous-vehicle future.
In the DVN Report published today, we review the surprisingly predictive history of automotive rear lights—from the first oil-burning lanterns through the long coloured-plastic-box-with-bulbs era, leading up to today’s advanced LED, OLED, and sensor-integral technologies. We present the major styling trends exerting on the appearance of rear lamps: thinner and thinner, more and more commonly spanning the whole width of the car, with precise internal decorative elements, and more. One of their most important roles is now to express the signature of the car in conjunction with the DRL and position lamps on the front.
Rear lamp technology is also heralding the introduction of new ideas like pictographic or text displays and road projection. These are not yet allowed by the regulations, but several studies are demonstrating the potential for safety benefits, a prelude to the introduction in regulations as explained in the report. Along the same line, rear lamps—located as they are at two of the four ideal positions, the corners of the car—will likely also come to incorporate a variety of ADAS sensors.
Early on in the AV discussion, there were rumblings and whisperings that signal lamps would become obsolete as humans relinquished the driving task to the cars themselves. Clearly that’s not so; in the future, rear lamps will for sure continue to embellish our cars’ styling, augment their communicative capabilities, and expand the scope and technique of their message presentations…to everyone’s benefit! We hope you’ll enjoy reading this latest DVN Report № 160 as much as we’ve enjoyed working to bring it to you.
And don’t forget to register now for our DVN US workshop which will take place in-person in Novi, MI, on September 21-22, 2021, at the Hyatt Place Hotel. Early bird fee valid only until end of July.