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Shows and Congresses
2018 SIA Vision Congress
Tuesday, 04 December 2018

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VISION congress was been held on 9-10 October in Paris, Cité des Sciences and in Mortefontaine for the night drives.

Highlights of VISION 2018:

1) More than 600 attendees from 125 worldwide companies

2) the three best lectures :

  • An OLED Tailight Revolution from Michael Kruppa, head of tail light development at Audi.
  • Full LED Headlamp gen3,from Paul-Henri Matha, now at Volvo Motors
  • Active Moisture removal from Hassan Koulouh and Ulrike Geissler
and the two other AL's Ernt-Olaf Rosenhahn, and Lumileds's Helmut Tiesler-Wittig.

3) Wonderful expo booths of big, small, and startup companies in optics, electronics, and simulations. 
The 26 exhibitors focussed on improved safety now available in passenger cars thanks to digital lighting, and on improved comfort brought by ADAS.

4) Night demo drives with 31 cars showing the latest technologies in Lighting and in ADAS.

5) The panel discussion with great minds in lighting and ADAS. What a great moment, with passionate discussion about ways of combining lighting and ADAS. The main conclusion: lighting needs ADAS to lead the intelligent lighting, and ADAS needs lighting to aid visibility of sensors and integrate cameras and lidars inside the headlamp. I thank again all the people who helped to make such a grand success of this event.@

2018 Paris International Motor Show
Tuesday, 06 November 2018

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The 132nd DVN Report is a close, focused look at the new and notable lights on the vehicles at the 2018 Paris auto show. It's got more than 150 clear, colourful, sharp images.
Here are the six main takeaway points we retain from our DVN walk of the show:

1) More and more light module variety: squares, ovals, vertical and horizontal rectangles; and a wide range of sizes

BMW 3 Series

Lexus RC

2) Use of front (especially DRLs) and rear (especially tail) lights for visual signature

BMW 8 Series

Peugeot E-Legend

3) Slimmer headlamps and rear lamps; rear lamps are also wider

Audi e-Tron

Mercedes EQ SilverArrow

4) Makers battling for added value and new customer experience

5) More animated signal lights for style, safety, and communication

6) High level of interest, even despite several automakers' absence


2018 DVN Tokyo Workshop
Sunday, 24 June 2018

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This report summarises the proceedings of the 2018 DVN Tokyo Workshop. It is not a substitute for having attended the event, but it conveys the main points of each lecture and describes the highlights of the expo booths. All in all, there were 21 lectures, a grand keynote address, and a panel discussion. The three most important points developed by all the speakers:
1. Lighting has a great future, helped—and not doomed—by the arrival of autonomous vehicles.
2. ADB is the primary main solution to improve safety by night, but we need to improve the performance; reduce system cost, weight, and volume, and get all the world's regulators onside.
3. The next big challenge is V2X communication by light. We have to work together and be involved to achieve proposals able to win technical, cultural, and regulatory support worldwide.

Highlights of this report include accounts of the presentations by Honda's Ryou Chijimatsu and Nissan's Hitoshi Nakagaki, who presented their vision of the lighting future in context of Japanese lighting culture; comments by Wolfgang Huhn on the possibility that last Spring's Uber pedestrian fatality could have been avoided with ADB, and lectures by Renault's Paul-Henri Matha and PSA's Whilk Gonçalves emphasising the importance of lighting to be seen.

Lighting suppliers described the status of their ADB and V2X research and development, and light source makers presented their great progress in LEDs and lasers.

There's coverage of the regulation session with two great lectures by Peter Bodrogi (about the lighting needs of ageing drivers) and Michel Locuffier (about how UN vehicle regulations must be developed in the 1998 Agreement).

Tier 2 suppliers presented their innovations and outlooks.

Where authorised by the speakers and their companies, links are provided to the lecture slides. Links are also provided to short video interviews with some of the speakers and exhibitors.

2018 Geneva International Motor Show

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

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Unlike the last big auto show NAIAS two months ago, in Geneva there were many concept cars. On top of that, the pre-production prototypes and newly-unveiled production cars are themselves dream cars, bristling with levels of technology and capability well outside yesterday's bounds of practicability. Another trend on the obvious increase is the use of lighting for brand and model-range identity advertisement.

This DVN's 126th report, is a close and focused look at the new and notable
lights on the vehicles at the 2018 Geneva motor show, to the near-total exclusion of other parts and views of the vehicle. Every model covered here can readily be viewed in its entirety elsewhere, but this is the only comprehensive report on the lights. This year we present an unprecedented more than 200 clear, colourful, sharp images at the perfect size whether you're viewing on a computer screen, a tablet, or you choose to print it out and carry it with you. Where warranted, we provide ultiple views of the same lamp from different angles, annotated and described with text.

Chapters are arranged by automakers; all of an automaker's marques are grouped together. Once again an enormous success for this 88th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show, with more than 660,000 entries registered. This year's show was set in motion by the Car of the Year award, won by the Volvo XC40, then the presentation of 150 new models and concept cars to a gathering of more than 10,000 media representatives from all over the world during the two press days. Visitors had the pleasure of viewing more than 900 exciting vehicles on display within the framework of what has become the largest event in Switzerland.

Rarely have so many car makers showed so many new electric cars and production-plausible EV studies as we saw this year at Geneva. EV range—distance that can be travelled on a charge—is growing high enough for buyers to stop worrying about it.

2018 DVN Munich Workshop
Tuesday, 27 February 2018

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The DVN Munich Workshop was equal parts symposium and celebration, the occasion being the 10th anniversary of Driving Vision News. More than 330 attendees—a full-capacity crowd—were present at this, the 16th DVN Workshop, including 18 car makers, 23 set makers, and 66 Tier-2s. All in all, over 100 companies, universities, and organisations were represented. And there was a high diversity of speakers from China, Germany, Japan, France, Korea, the Netherlands, America, Czechia, and Spain. There were 24 exhibition booths where companies from all over the world displayed their products, innovations, and capabilities. Exhibiting for the first time at a DVN Workshop were Myotek, the US-based OE supplier of high-technology, high-performance LED fog lamps and specialty lighting.

With a rubric of Digital Light, the lectures ran the gamut of topics from technical and technological developments, to thorough comparisons of the relative merits of various ways of achieving digitalisation of car lights, to questions of how best to grapple with regulatory lag and constraint and matters of societal acceptance of AVs. And beyond the improvements we can expect in the performance and versatility of advanced lighting systems, there were presentations giving high hope for big improvements in the quality of the light itself—Seoul Semiconductor described their new "SunLike" purple-based technology for producing white LEDs with a better output spectrum.

There was a lively panel discussion wherein participants—some of our community's best minds—sparred over tough questions like what to do about the fact that LED headlamps, initially touted as energy-, weight-, and CO2-savers, are now growing heavier and more power hungry. There was a gala award ceremony recognising individuals for their remarkable contributions in our world, after which was a festive dinner at the fancy Munich Airport Hilton. Outside, there were flashy demonstrator cars showing off all kinds of digital light advances. And this workshop also served as the kickoff for the new DVN Workshop app for iOS and Android. The app made it easy for questions to be submitted to speakers, attendees to contact one another and keep track of the docket.

This 125th report contains full reportage of the DVN Munich Workshop held on 30–31 January. It was an especially celebratory event, being the 16th DVN Workshop and the 10th anniversary of DVN. 
The Workshop included 31 lectures from automakers, lamp setmakers, component suppliers, service providers, technical-standards developers, and academics. Each lecture is summarised and annotated with our comments and reactions. A précis and commentary are also provided for the panel discussion.

Each of the eight demonstrator cars, seven DVN award recipients, and 13 expo booths is pictured and described, and there are photos of the exellent networking opportunities (and excellent food!) characteristic of DVN Workshops, wherever they are held. All in all, there are over 137 pictures and 14,000 words here. It's a pity if you could not attend, but in this report you are about to get the next-best thing. We hope you get at least as much out of it as we of the DVN team have put into it.

2018 CES - Las Vegas PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 February 2018

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The CES show has, with seeming suddenness, become highly relevant to the automotive industry— especially in the fields of driver assistance, autonomous driving, vehicle communications, and machine vision. DVN attended CES for the first time this year to generate this report, a sampler of the relevant exhibits and ideas on display, described here in 30 pages and 55 images.

There was strong automaker presence, though certain technology-focused automakers were surprisingly absent. On the other hand, the array of suppliers and startups was truly impressive. Magneti Marelli and Varroc were the two driver- and vehicle-vision suppliers with the biggest and best showcases at CES, and there was also an interesting panorama of vehicular and traffic technology and technique displayed by the likes of Texas Instruments, Pioneer, Osram, Velodyne, Delphi, Denso, Magna, Continental, Bosch, Garmin, Osram, Valeo, ZF, Mobileye, Stanley, and Koito. As well, there was an intriguing variety of small companies and startups eager to bring their ideas and innovations to fruition in the driver and vehicle vision and visibility realm (even when the "driver" in question is on a bicycle).

New ideas were numerous not only for how to make AVs but how to use them—both Toyota and several startups showed driverless cars that bring shops and stores to people, instead of the other way round, for example. There was extensive innovation on display in the V2X communications field, and Nissan showed off an interesting inversion of that concept, as well.

Virtual-reality simulations, autonomous-car demonstrations (despite the severely rainy and windy weather), and new-product announcements were heavy on the ground, as were coöperative developments such as a system put forth by Osram and Velodyne Lidar.

2018 NAIAS SHOW - DETROIT PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 January 2018

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The Detroit auto show has been morphing over the years, adapting to new realities of the auto industry. Despite heavy promotion of the show as roundly international and all-inclusive, makers who did not display at the show included Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Land Rover, Jaguar, Porsche, MINI, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce, and America's own Tesla. These makers, amongst others, increasingly see the Detroit show as less relevant in a current-day automotive world where the North American innovation hot spots are in Silicon Valley and the internet has taken a big bite out of the public's need to go see car shows.

But the trend is not one of doom and gloom. Again, it is one of adaptation, and this is reflected in the evolution of show cars themselves. There were far fewer concept, prototype, and dream cars, but even the pre-production prototypes and newly-unveiled production cars are essentially dream cars in and of themselves, bristling with levels of technology and capability well outside yesterday's bounds of practicality. And there was absolutely no shortage of interesting lighting; the 2018 NAIAS was a showcase of the general trend toward higher lighting content on most vehicles offered in the world's second-largest vehicle market. One crucial piece of the context that separates the Detroit show from others round the world is that the US is one of the two countries on the North American regulatory island: the United States has its own lighting regulations, significantly different to the UN (or UN- approximate) regulations recognised by most of the rest of the world. So most vehicles on offer in America—and therefore most vehicles on display at the show—have different lighting system specifications and particulars than their equivalents elsewhere in the world. Red rear turn signals are allowed in America, for example—though this year there were interesting signs of how makers are adapting to a planned NCAP preference for the yellow ones the rest of the world requires—and front and rear sidemarker lights and reflectors are required, but side turn signal repeaters and rear fog lamps and DRLs are not. And ADB is still not yet legal in America, so models that come equipped in Europe are stripped of that feature for the American market. And it's not just lighting regulations that are different; most all North American vehicle regulations differ substantially from their international UN counterparts, as do North American vehicle buyers' habits and preferences, so it's really quite a different mix of vehicles than might be found at Paris or Frankfurt or Shanghai, for example.

Overall, last year's news is also this year's news: increasing lighting content on the front, sides, and rear of vehicles, but this is not a one-way trend. LED daytime running lights, though not required, are present on a lot more vehicles. The car-lights-as-art revolution, though it got its start in Europe, has well and truly spread to American shores. The whole industry, worldwide, is striving at an unprecedented rate to add glitz and fascination to what used to be purely functional, minimally-styled equipment. It is surely safe to say the old philosophy of vehicle lights as commodity items is now a distant memory. Another trend on the obvious increase is the use of lighting for brand and model-range identity advertisement.


Tuesday, 14 November 2017

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This year's ISAL, which took place on September 25-27 was very well attended—more so than ever before, with over 800 people. That demonstrates that vehicle lighting is important not just in theory, but in practice. Every one of those attendees was there for a good reason; each of them play a part, however large or small, in advancing the state of the art and the deployment of advanced vehicle lighting as a crucial element of the global drive towards more safety via fewer crashes.

Clearly, the low beam is a zombie technology: dead, but still walking. it exists not because it is adequate—it was never adequate, it was just the only possible way to have traffic-compatible headlighting under technical and technological constraints that no longer exist. ADB and related matters dominated the presentations this year, and rightly so. Nevertheless, most drivers still live in a low beam/high beam world, and this year's lectures included coverage of low and high beam production, especially improved low and high beams by advanced lighting technology and technique.

Other interesting ideas presented in the lectures and posters include new ways of making and evaluating lights, fundamentally new ways of using visible light (e.g., for human-invisible machine-to-machine or machine-to-infrastructure communications), new designs, new light sources, and comparative assessments of competing new ways of achieving the much higher and more versatile performance that will be demanded by tomorrow's drivers—human and machine alike. There was a very good presentation on headlamp lens cleaning, but nothing on the increasingly-crucial topic of lamp aim, and the content on adverse-weather lighting, while tantalising, left us wanting more.

Another prime topic: evolution in the testing and regulation of car lights, badly needed to keep up with the many new arriving functions and proposals The once-in-a-lifetime regulatory simplification and globalisation effort begun a couple of years ago has gained substantial traction and is well under way; there were several talks about its progress. 

All in all, it was a roundly successful and highly informative event. In this report, the most salient lectures and all of the posters are summarized, together with an exclusive DVN Interview with Professor Khanh of TU-Darmstadt's L-Lab, chief organiser of ISAL.

IAA 2017-Frankfurt Show
Tuesday, 17 October 2017

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This, DVN's 119th report, is a close look at the new and notable lights and driver-assist features at the 2017 IAA Frankfurt motor show, to the near-total exclusion of other parts and views of the vehicle. Every model covered here can readily be viewed in its entirety elsewhere, but this is the only comprehensive report on the lights and automations. As such, it is not an every-model catalogue; only those vehicles with noteworthy vision and visibility features are covered. This year we present 172 clear, colourful, sharp images at the perfect size whether you're viewing on a computer screen, a tablet, or you choose to print it out and carry it with you. Where warranted, we provide multiple views of the same lamp from different angles—annotated and described with text. The report is arranged alphabetically by marque, whether the brand applies to a car maker or a technology supplier.

Here are the five main takeaway points we retain from the show:

  • As discussed in the recently published DVN Study (The Impact of a Changing Automotive Industry on Exterior Lighting) three trends are transforming the automotive world: electrification, connectivity, and advanced assisted driving. They require new sytems architectures, skills, and competencies. Tier 1 suppliers like Delphi, Bosch, Continental, ZF, Valeo, Denso, and Magna brought extensive show-and-tell on the subject to the show.
  • Lighting functions are strongly influenced by these trends as can be seen in presentations by Hella, Valeo, and ZKW: high definition LED projection lights on the road to warn, inform, bring additional comfort to the driver, completely new interior and exterior lighting to welcome the driver and help them through the different levels of automomous driving, new exterior and interior light designs with the disappearance of the front grill on e-cars and the introduction of large OLED surfaces on the rear faces.
  • Electric cars open a new paradise for designers: city cars, for example, with flat floors, shortened hoods, dashboards reduced to a single screen. From that perspective, SUVs appear like dinosaurs with their large wheels, big engines, and chunky shapes.
  • Korean and Chinese car maker presence is quite remarkable. Hyundai and Kia had their usual large booths, but Chery and Wey (Great Wall's brand) put forth an unusually strong Chinese showing. In contrast, the absence of Fiat, Peugeot, Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Volvo and Tesla raises eyebrows.
  • Impressive showfloors of Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and VW, amongst many others, demonstrate that progress is happening fast. It is reasonable to predict that all car models will soon offer an electric powered version, whether hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full electric.

There was an unprecedented level of focus on electric cars at this year's show. There was also a wide array of prototypes and concept cars and a goodly variety of new production models on display. This year more than ever before, major (and some lesser-known) tier-1 suppliers of driving assistance and automation technology were exhibiting their wares and works directly to show attendees. All in all it was a showcase of the general trend toward higher lighting and automatic content on vehicles in general, though it could also be clearly seen that cheap old technology—bulb taillamps and H4 headlamps—continues to persist, including some surprising applications of these power-hungry old techniques on electric vehicles wherein less lighting efficiency means less vehicle range.

The car-lights-as-art revolution has well and truly gone mainstream; it is harder than ever to find a car equipped with form-follows-function lighting. The whole industry, worldwide, is striving at an unprecedented rate to add glitz, fascination, and fashion to what used to be purely functional, minimally-styled equipment. There's never been a wider variety in the use of lighting for the advertisement of brand and model-range identity and vehicle technology. A number of vehicles showed ideas of how to use light in new ways as semi- (and eventually fully-) autonomous cars join in the world's traffic, as car-sharing begins to erode car-ownership, and as electric cars come (back) into their own as a significant force after nearly a century's absence.

We hope you find this report as enjoyable and informative to peruse and read as we did to create.

2017 DVN Shanghai Workshop
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

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The four parts of this report are:

1. Summary and analysis of most of the 25 lectures including six from automakers and seven from lighting tier-1s. Overspanning highlights:
• Digital manipulation of light is replacing hardware. ADB, though not yet allowed in the USA, is the headlighting technique of the future. Everybody's working on it (matrix/pixel, DLP, LCD, µAFS, or scanning) to improve the resolution.
• But ADB is not suitable for dense mega-cities, so it is important to define a new light function such as Honda's ACL.
• Headlamp aim is a real problem for automakers and suppliers because improper aim effectively spoils even good lights. Everyone is working on how to improve their lights' IIHS rankings.
• Standardisation is a cost-lowering technique car makers are increasingly using.
• Fast progress in LED & laser efficacy, luminance, and accuracy.
• Regulations need to adapt quickly and be safety-orientated, anticipating new technology and autonomous vehicles.
• New concepts (e.g., holography) and reliability improvements (e.g., condensation management) are now available to car makers.

2. The panel session on regulations headed by GTB President Geoff Draper, who is successfully steering stepwise progress on regulatory reform and coöperation to minimise divergence among regs in Europe, North America, China, Japan, Korea, and the rest of the world.

3. Networking amongst participants and speakers—illustrated with pictures of the exhibitations, during the lectures, during the breaks, and the dinner.

4. The round table chaired by Audi's Wolfgang Huhn, who led ten of the field's greatest experts in discussion on the future of vehicle lighting to help the community to better know the future of their jobs.

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