At ISAL last month, former Audi lighting chief Wolfgang Huhn gave a terrific keynote describing his vision on lighting, and explaining how the market and the technologies are changing. Among the instances he cited: Faurecia bought Hella; Calsonic Kansei and then Motherson bought Marelli; LG bought ZKW; Magna bought Olsa; Plastic Ommnium bought AMSL and “now they’ve just bought Varroc Lighting“ (see details below), and it will continue.
Light source suppliers are innovating like never before; electronics, semiconductor, and software suppliers are more and more active; and tier-2 suppliers are likewise on an innovation fast track in lenses; microoptics; DMDs; sensors and actuators; measuring equipment; materials; and engineering, simulation, and calculation tools and techniques—all of which in turn pave the way for yet more and faster innovation.
In this week’s DVNewsletter you’ll find our interview with Sunny Automotive, a great example of what Huhn was talking about. Sunny began mass production of automotive sensing lenses in 2006, and since 2015 they’ve successively entered emerging fields such as HUDs and lidar, cooperating with tier-1s around the world to equip cars from makers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Ford. Theirs is an interesting story showing how companies are evolving to innovate not only their products and services, but also their business models and methods. It’s really exciting to see new companies coming onstream, old companies adapting and morphing as the automotive field as a whole becomes something unlike ever before.