Receive DVN newsletter headlines for free now !

Because it’s New: How about Digital Lighting and Safety ? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 March 2019

Guest Editorial by Michael Hamm, Audi, Manager Development Headlamps

Digital Lighting means providing additional information to the driver and other road users, for example by projecting the width of the car forward on the road in narrow lanes like in construction zones; by indicating road and traffic conditions, by providing speed or deceleration recommendations—and more and more to invent and come.

First applications are entering the market, providing new and (at least in YouTube videos) eye-catching features. We all know marketing is important, but we have to look to the reality in functionality; it is clear that this new and unknown technology raises basic concerns: does this kind of digital lighting create distractions, does it create glare, does it create misunderstanding? The summarised answer is no.

Up to now all investigations indicate there is no negative effect. Eye-tracking studies on distraction show that in more than 260 test situations there is no negative eye movement to suggest distraction. Glare studies on wet roads show after 300 de Boer ratings there is no additional glare recorded. Misunderstanding? Investigations conclude it is not likely, because it is a very special observation situation from driver's perspective. And pedestrians and oncoming traffic participants will only see a completely contorted and blurred image, so no chance for misunderstanding.

What's still lacking after the defense investigations: What are the benefits? Think positive. We need much more data about the positive contributions to nighttime safety. Any figure of merit is welcome: steering wheel movements or speed, brake activation, speed constancy, lane keeping, gas pedal position, heart frequency, precision of intuitive decisions, and more and more.

We know digital light is cute. Yes, but it also helps. Let's be curious and find out how!


Michael Hamm,


Add comment

Security code