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Shows and Congresses
2016 DVN Tokyo Workshop
Tuesday, 21 June 2016

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Around 240 attendees and exhibitors were present at the 2016 DVN Tokyo workshop. 38 were from 12 automaker brands, 72 were from 18 brands of lamp set makers, 118 were from 31 tier-2 brands, and ten organisations and regulatory bodies were represented.
18 sponsors were present with wonderful exhibitions.
The Japanese companies' lectures were notably interesting. They were presented in Japanese and the presenters were much more open and expressive than in European and American congresses.

The 5 key points developed during the DVN Tokyo Workshop 2016 were:

• With the arrival of autonomous cars, the future of automotive lighting is more and more complex and interesting to consider. How will today's functionalities merge with (and/or give way to) tomorrow's new ones?

• ADB, though not yet accepted by NHTSA, is the technology everyone is working on. There's a big mix of techniques (matrix, pixel, DLP, MEMS, etc).

• There's a glut of newcomers starting to be present in the automotive lighting field as the presentations of NXP and Mektec showed. And existing known participants as Bosch, Infineon, Lear, Panasonic, Texas Instruments, are branching out in interesting ways.
• Standardisation is becoming more and more important, for all not visible inside the headlamp: light source, bulb holders, electronics, modules.

• We all need to advocate and strive toward regulations that are as simple, safety-orientated, performance-based, and technology-neutral as possible. Geoff Draper: "To realise the benefits of technology neutral and stable regulation its industry members must invest the time of its experts, and support the cost of the associated research".

Geneva auto show
Monday, 11 April 2016

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Geneva offered a great variety of show cars this year, with everything from the very familial Renault Scenic to the powerful Bugatti Chiron and the innovative Opel Mokka, and niche vehicles like the Land Rover Cabriolet. Crossovers are really hotting up, with production intros from VW, Audi, Opel, Toyota, and a Subaru concept. And there were vehicles that would have seemed inconceivable just a few years ago—the Bentley Bentayga slated for U.S. sale this spring, and the Maserati Levante SUV appearing this week.

Many interesting new cars were presented, including Audi's Q2, the Mercedes GLC Coupé, the Toyota C-HR, Seat's Ateca, Peugeot 2008, and models from Kia, Subaru, Skoda, Jaguar, and more.

4 Takeaway points at the Geneva Auto Show

About lighting, with the general message about the shift to digital emphasised by the Mercedes E-Class, the four takeaway points DVN immediately retain from their visit are :

1. Decreasing headlamp height, especially on concept cars

2. DRL is a main function, now, no longer an ancillary add-on

3. Lighting to advertise technology content of the car as a whole

4. Strong visual signature by dint of rear light styling

As can be seen in this report, there’s new and exciting lighting on everything from small eco-cars to giant SUVs. The importance of lighting continues ramping up in advertising the overall technology and sophistication of a vehicle and its family ties and brand identity, and in projecting design themes to inspire emotional reactions.

2016 NewDelhi Workshop
Sunday, 06 March 2016

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The DVN Delhi Workshop was held on 9-10 February at the wonderful Crowne Plaza Greater Noida Hotel. The event got started with the DVN welcome dinner, which gathered all 200 attendees from 50 companies for a warmhearted special evening.

The next morning, the Workshop itself got started; the theme was:
«Affordable Technologies and Energy Saving»
and 20 lectures were presented.

After DVN Editor-in-Chief Hector Fratty's introductory speech on the status and the future of lighting, Robert Miller gave a keynote focused on styling, entitled "Lighting Design with the Car in Mind". The first two presentation sessions contained lectures on affordable front and rear lamps for emerging markets. 
There were interesting talks from Valeo, Hella, Minda, and IJL on affordable products and from Renault about the challenges to develop a worldwide car with such a range of different regulations, environments, and market preferences. 
Lumax-Stanley presented a new Bifunction LED with great improvements in weight, volume, and performance. Noted vehicle lighting film producer Rainer Neuman gave a charismatic presentation on advanced lighting technologies.

The third session centred on light sources—LEDs, of course, but also halogen for motorcycles (which make up a huge proportion of the Indian vehicle market) with the new H17 and for cars with new H18 and H19. The fourth session was devoted to Tier 2 presentations by Mentor, LMT, Docter Optics, and Snopsys—all of whom gave interesting information on affordable products.

As is now de rigueur for a DVN Workshop, a panel discussion about regulations was chaired by GTB President Geoff Draper. This time, the rubric was "The Implications of a new approach to the UN Regulations for Indian Stakeholders", with participation of all organisations and companies involved in regulations in India.
The subject of harmonisation and synchronisation was particularly relevant because although India is not a contracting party to the UN 1958 Agreement, Indian experts are regular contributors to the work of GRE and the country broadly follows the UN technical requirements. This workshop was an opportunity to gather an understanding the Indian perspective on regulation of automotive lights, lamps, and signals. Opportunity was taken to understand whether the stakeholders of India would be interested in a GTB initiative to lead a new global approach to the technical requirements, in close coöperation with the UN World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP29).

15 lighting companies exhibited their products and services with a grand collection of display booths—presented in this report.




2016 India Auto Expo
Sunday, 28 February 2016

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This year's Auto Expo is the biggest in its history, with SUVs and crossovers playing a prominent role as manufacturers display their upcoming cars to the Indian market. The crowds were large and vehicles displayed were mostly low-cost models that offer a greater acceptance to this fast growing market.
What was most impressive was the amount of young, passionate visitors whose obvious excitement towards cars and technology was contagious
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, this year's Auto Expo saw around 58 auto manufacturers participate, while 80 new vehicles were unveiled. This report highlights some of the notable lighting examples and show some specific technologies and directions OEMs are taking in the India market.

Young buyers were clearly excited and impressed with these cars but many of the comments we overheard were about " how cool" the exterior lighting was. It was clear that India's appetite for advance vehicle designs and its desire for more sophisticated styling cues that involved complex lighting designs was very evident at the expo.

The low-cost models showcased had very nice overall body styling. What was clearly evident was the use of what we call simulated DRL's in headlamps and front body areas even though they are not required for the India market. We saw many interesting designs of headlamps that employed the use of light guides, wave guides, dimensional looks and textures that were innovative and clearly made the DNA of the brand stand out. Most of the headlamps that had design sophistication clearly set the overall tone for the car and it's personality.

The rear lighting for many of India's cars that were displayed also benefited from some very nice designs that incorporated accent lighting using light guides and wave guides that incorporated texture and patterns. We werealso impressed with the use of homogenous lighting that was tastefully used within many of the designs.
The use of transparency, textures and dimensional looks is the global trend with lighting, and India's exploding car market is quickly adopting these styling cues as young consumers grow savvy and develop a taste for styling sophistication.
Interior lighting is also enjoying some growth within this market. It was evident that lighting in the interior is very important to the culture of cars in India. Higher-end vehicles are now incorporating tasteful interior ambient accents within the interior.
Although simple approaches are now being used, common areas are : illuminated door handles, floor areas, upper console glow accents and simple illumination with the cup holders.
As this area of light matures over the next few years and OEMs figure out how to control costs for new materials and designs I expect interior lighting to grow and the color of light, placement and uses will align with the culture and carve out its own design niche for this market.



2016 NAIAS report
Tuesday, 09 February 2016

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Much of the lustre has worn off the Detroit auto show. As more technology-orientated shows like the Los Angeles motor show have siphoned off interest, NAIAS had even fewer concept, idea, and dream cars this year than last year, and last year was slim pickings. However, those that were present were all at a very high level, no matter what stage of thinking or prototyping they represented. It was especially interesting to see several production-ready versions of cars that were shown last year as concepts; we were able to compare the lighting mockups and placeholders with the developed actuality. In some cases the development was upward-forward; in others it was opposite. And in this year's concept cars, the degree of design, styling, and technology innovation in the lighting mockups was unprecedented. Clearly lighting is well and truly integral and forward in automakers' minds and vehicle design.

The world's automakers are really getting the knack of effectively using lighting to create brand and model signatures, present family ties among models, advertise corporate identity, and trumpet their vehicles' overall level of technology. Different automakers do this in different ways, of course; for some, there's strong uniformity in the lamps on all their models. For others, there's familial resemblance but each model's look is more assertively tailored. Styling trends that can be seen across multiple marques include the use of light guides to create roadway or racetrack appearances within and between lamps; the use of jewellery effects created by optics, and the use of chrome to create "silver platter" looks of luxury. At least as importantly, the uptake of LED headlamps is roaring along in high gear. More and ever more popular-price cars have LED headlamps as standard or optional equipment. The Toyota Corolla touched off a revolution two years ago when LED low beams became standard equipment on all models; this year, direct competitors Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra both offer high-specification, thoughtfully-designed LED headlamps. The democratisation of formerly exclusive things like LED headlamps seems to be gaining substantial traction.

LED rear lamps are rapidly gaining fitment rates, but incandescents are still quite plentiful—it is notable that we see a substantial number of models with highly advanced LED front lighting, but basic incandescent rear lights. There's a definite continuation of another trend we noticed last year: lighting content and technology advancements even in the traditionally conservative pickup truck segment. More pickup trucks have LED headlamps, there are LED DRLs, LED tail lamps, and some truck lighting configurations that would have been unimaginably de luxe just a few years ago.


2015 ISAL PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 November 2015

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Executive Summary

For the engineers and experts who could not attend ISAL 2015, or for the attendants who did not catch all the information, we are pleased to release a photo-illustrated report presenting highlights of some of the lectures, with DVN's expert analysis and commentary. It is not intended as a comprehensive recap, nor as a digest version of the whole symposium; those interested in the full docket who were unable to attend are well advised to purchase the proceedings, which are available by enquiry from TU-Darmstadt. General topics coverd by the report include:

Front lighting, with 3 main messages staying in mind:
1) LED is the technology of the future. Many lectures showed the huge and anticipated progress of this technology, the infinite possibilities in styling, and the arrival of more affordable Eco-LED light sources with attractive energy consumption for the medium segment, all of these factors leading to a probable market prevalence much higher than expected a few year ago;
2) Great future of ADB, with a variety of lectures emphasising ADB great potential in the future mainly with the arrival of new technologies derived from video projectors (and some interesting material on APB, adaptive passing beam);
3) Laser technology is becoming a reality even if the cost is still very high and all the validations are not finished.

Rear lighting with 2 prominent new trends:
1) Many lectures on sequential turn indicators which way was opened by the Audi's A8 new styling and safety(?) trend;
2) OLED technology with 3 interesting lectures—OLED car lights should reach production stage in 2016/2017. But other techniques such as Hella's impressive holographic optics may give OLED vigourous competition.

Interior lighting, more and more important with the arrival of semi-autonomous cars.
The report closes with pictures taken during the event: booths, displays, and around 800 people gathered during 2 days. There's also an exclusive interview with Professor Khanh, the president of the ISAL congress. Give it a look!
- Booths are really a great lever for promoting new technologies. It is possible to see them working, to touch them, to check them, to compare them. Real stuff will always be more convincing than words or leaflets.
- Benchmarking is the most important point we retain from this congress. The lighting community is a special and unique one. What a pleasure to talk technics with the colleagues, to share some opinion or to debate on the future of a technology or a new car model!

In conclusion, it is true that participants stay two days out of their office. It is nothing compared with what we learn during these 2 days. The old times—when we were working secretly, hiding our results and findings, rejecting everything NIH (Not Invented Here)—are really finished!

2015 IAA Motorshow PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 October 2015

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210 worldwide Pemiere presented at IAA
A great many new concept and production cars were presented at this year's IAA, the Frankfurt auto show. It's clear to see that lighting has gained firm traction as a central anchor of automotive innovation and design, and there are good trends afoot for lighting. Some examples follow. For more details on the main presentations, see the complete report 2015 IAA to be downloaded from our DVN website.

e-tron quattro concept with matrix laser technology for the primary front lighting functions and a distinctive visual signature comprising 5 combination LED/OLED elements—a preview, perhaps, of future Matrix OLED technology. The rear lamps feature nine red OLED units for the rear position (tail) function:



BMW's 7-Series, with cutting edge lighting technology including laser light and anti-dazzle high beam assistant as well as advanced interior lighting:

 image4   image5 


Jaguar with their new XE, XF, XJ and now F-Pace, all with high lighting performance and design content:



Mercedes' Concept IAA with its enormous, interestingly-shaped front and rear lights:

 image7   image8 


Opel Corsa with Matrix lighting, a worldwide first for a mid-range car—shown with large panels explaining the technology:

Berlitz, Schneider, Huhn with matrix panels


Peugeot's Fractal and its aggressive lion appearance including lighting which previews the future Peugeot signature:


The Porsche Mission E with its matrix LED headlamp from four LED units grouped around a bordering indicator light, giving an "emotional sportiness" appearance:

 image11   image12 

's new signature, debuted with Espace and now spreading to the Megane and Talisman:

 image13   image14 

's fabulous lighting package on the Tiguan (detailed analysis coming next month):



DVN Shanghai Workshop 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 May 2015


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Executuve summary
The 11th DVN Workshop was held in Shanghai, China, on 21-22 April of 2015. A recordbreaking 320 attendees represented automakers, tier-1 and -2 suppliers, researchers, regulators, practitioners, designers, and individuals who develop, build, specify, and regulate vehicle lighting around the world. We asked worldwide experts to share their views and news under the rubric Innovation in Lighting: Safety and Styling. Topics included LED, laser, and OLED lighting, numerous perspectives on ADB, new issues in simulation and regulation, and discussion of specificities particular to the Chinese realm. Two keynotes, 25 presentations and four round table panel discussions illustrated how each contributor sees the technology and how they might be focusing their choices on investments in engineering, materials, people, and production.
In every presentation, common themes built the consensus developed at the workshop: automotive lighting has dramatically changed in recent years, the rate of change is accelerating, and its future will become more complex and interesting with styles continuing to become more diverse and innovative.  Today in 2015, design and creative styling are already greatly influencing how lighting will be engineered and in many cases, posing a significant engineering challenge to incorporate the visual cues of the design and deliver it to production.

A captivating keynote address was delivered by noted design expert Robert Miller, explaining how brands are asserting their identities passionately with light.

Session 1, chaired by Rainer Neumann, centred on carmakers’ visions on front and rear lighting throughout the world. Wolfgang Huhn described Audi's light strategy considering, æsthetics, dynamics, and interaction. Then Michael Meyer from Ford talked about the challenges around the world for a global beam pattern, followed by François Bedu who presented the Renault strategy on lighting. Shanghai VW’s Jiang Wei discussed an investigation of headlamp fogging solutions, and  PATAC’s Huang Yi closed the session with a speech on innovative OLED applications in automotive lighting

Session 2, chaired by Wolfgang Huhn, focused on the technologies in lighting as a lever of safety and styling. The session started with Rainer Neumann who overviewed opportunities for improvement in light performance. Shanghai Koito presented their achievements on ADB & matrix lighting technology. Then Claude Penn gave a lecture on the successful AL e-Light achievements, followed by Frank Huber who presented the LED systems and the matrix revolution.
Kiyotaka Mochizuki from Koito spoke on the trend of lighting considering styling and safety, and Mobis’ Taewon Lee closed the session with a speech on LED lighting technologies.

An interesting keynote on ELS, a new training school in lighting, by Jean-Paul Ravier opened the second day.

Session 3, chaired by François Bedu , centred on advanced LED technologies, with the lectures of  Valeo’s China regional R&D boss Stephane Thery, Lumileds’ head of automotive R&D Peter Stolk, Osram's SSL VP and General Manager  Claus Allgeier, and Everlight’s R&D manager Johhny Lu.

Session 4 was chaired by GTB President Geoff Draper, and got started with a presentation from him reviewing the conclusions reached so far and to discuss a course of action that could become an important step toward harmonised technical requirements. Then He Peng presented the priorities of the Vehicle Manufacturers  (CAAM) followed by an interesting lecture of Prof. Dr. Yandan Lin on the international collaboration of  research on the performance-based evaluation system for headlamps.

Session 5 was chaired by Dr. Claus Allgeier and focused in a first part on lenses with lectures from Docter Optics' Dr. Jan Hamkens, who presented new approaches for design, style, performance, and safety; and from Mr. Wenqing Liang, of Bicom Optics, on high-precision molding, and in a second part on new electronic drivers architectures with Keboda's Jun Zhao and NXP's Dr. Prem Sharma.

Session 6, chaired by Michael Meyer, was about measurements. It got under way with Dr. Thomas Reiners from LMT, who sketched in his lecture the challenges which come along with the spatial measurement of time modulated signals. This was followed by a talk by Mentor Graphics' Boris Marovic on new possibilities of simulation tools for identifying condensation and icing problems at the earliest possible stage. Then came a lecture by Synopsys' Thorsten Shupp outlining the importance of luminance analysis for signal lamps. The session was rounded out by Julien Miller from Optis-World, who discussed virtual prototyping.

This report summarises all the presentations and panel discussions. The reader is referred to the original lecture slides. The innovative systems, products, components discussed during the Workshop are described herein.

2015 Geneva International Motor Show PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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The Geneva motor show comprises a much smaller area than those at Frankfurt, Paris, Detroit, or Shanghai. Nevertheless, this year's show hosted a large number concept cars and supercars.
SUVs were very prevalent on all stands with design, comfort, safety and connectivity seemingly this year, more important than heavy fuel consumption;
• Super- and hypercars like the Aston Martin Vulcan and Vantage GT3, Audi's R8, the Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 675 LT, Mercedes Maybach Pullman, the Lotus Evora 400, Ford's GT, Porsche's Cayman GT4, and Ferrari 488 GTB were flashy and splashy;
• Concept cars weren't so numerous this year, but were represented by nice vehicles like Audi's concept Prologue Avant, Bentley's EXP 10, and the Lexus LF C2.
• Production cars of interest were plentiful, including the Audi Q7, BMW 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Tourer,  Renault Kadjar, Honda NSX, Hyundai Tucson, a future Nissan Micra replacement named Sway, Škoda Superb, and DS5.
Connectivity is becoming more and more present; the industry is already experimenting intensively with vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity, vehicle-to-outer-world connectivity, and mobility services—all in search of what consumers might willingly buy.  
Smartphones can now couple with vehicle infotainment systems by means of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirorLink that can "connect" the vehicle with a general trend of systems compatibility.
Driver assistance is making great strides. Ten years after ABS and ESP, the ADAS systems menu includes Park Assist (PA), Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEB), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping Assist (LCA), Front Collision Warning (FCW) and more, now available as standard in D segments and higher, and optionally from the B segment upward.

It is now remarkable to see non-LED DRLs and to see unveiled cars without LEDs. Car makers are increasingly using front and rear lighting to emphasise their signature. And small LED modules are now more and more used in the headlamps.

DVN US Workshop 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 March 2015


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The 10th DVN Workshop was held at Rochester, MI, US on 13 January, 2015 with 230 attendees from automakers, tier-1 and -2 suppliers, researchers, regulators, and individuals who develop, build, specify, and regulate vehicle lighting around the world.  We asked worldwide experts to share their views and news under the rubric Future Lighting Technologies, Techniques, and Regulatory Affairs. Topics included LED, laser, and OLED lighting, numerous perspectives on ADB, new issues in simulation and regulation, and discussion of specificities particular to the North American realm. Twenty exceptionally thoughtful presentations and four round table panel discussions illustrated how each contributor sees the technology and how they might be focusing their choices on investments in engineering, materials, people, and production. In every presentation, common themes built the consensus developed at the workshop: automotive lighting has dramatically changed in recent years, the rate of change is accelerating, and its future will become more complex and interesting with styles continuing to become more diverse and innovative. Today in 2015, design and creative styling are already greatly influencing how lighting will be engineered and in many cases, posing a significant engineering challenge to incorporate the visual cues of the design and deliver it to production.

A captivating Keynote address was delivered by Carnegie-Mellon University's Dr. Srinivasa Narasimhan, who described the fascinatingly polyvalent "programmable" front lighting system his research team has devised with extremely high resolution and low latency.

Session 1, chaired by Daniel Stern, centred on car- and setmakers’ visions on ADB technologies. GM’s Michael Larsen gave an update on progress toward regulations for ADB in America. Then Hella’s Hans-Theo Dorissen spoke of the challenges for ADB in the future ADB, followed by  Varroc’s Rainer Neumann on the future of ADB considering light performance and regulations.
ZKW’s Jürgen Antonitsch made a lecture on innovation, followed by Valeo’s John Orisich on how US Consumers deserve ADB technologies. JWSpeaker’s Dragan Popovic finished the session by presenting his company's motorcycle ADB to solve the bank-angle headlighting problem.

Session 2, chaired by Ralf Schäfer, focused on the future technologies in lighting.
The session started with BMW’s Christian Amann  on the contribution of laser to nighttime safety. Then FCA’s Dennis Novack presented the trends of exterior lighting at Fiat Chrysler..
The next lecture was from Ford’s Luciano Lukacs about global cars and regional beam patterns, followed by AL’s Andrea Stella on the trends in modular concepts for LED headlamps. Koito’s Masaru Sasaki spoke on the continuous evolution of lighting with emphasis on today's compact and performant LED modules,  and Mobis’s Taewon Lee's thoughts on lighting in the future closed the session.

Session 3, chaired by Ingolf Schneider, centred on electronics and component manufactures.  It started with Philips’s Dirk Vandenhäghen  on tailored solutions. Then NAL’s Tom Poorman gave what must be the most important presentation of the Workshop, a rigourous analysis of the real safety effects of headlamp lens haze. Sea Link’s Randy McFarland presented a lecture on the benefit of magnesium, then NXP’s Prem Sharma described the key role of electronics in LED lighting system functionality. LMT’s Thomas Reiners closed the session with a lecture on goniophotometry considering modulated intensity distributions.

Session 4 was chaired by GTB President Geoff Draper, and got started with a presentation from Audi’s Stephan Berlitz on the regulatory impacts on innovative lighting functions, followed by Bart Terburg on Osram’s regulatory support of future lighting technologies and UMTRI’s Michael Flannagan on how to maximise the safey benefits of advanced headlighting.

This report summarises all the presentations and panel discussions. The reader is referred to the original lecture slides. The innovative systems, products, and components discussed during the Workshop are summarised herein.

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