Chevrolet spotlights flowing ambient light car interior solution

September 17, 2015 // By Paul Buckley
German lighting specialiast HELLA has provided a new kind of interior light concept for Chevrolet's Camaro 2016 which has been unveiled for the first time in Europe at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The performance car's interior lighting is capable of changing color slowly throughout the vehicle in a subtle, flowing pattern from the center screen.

The ambient interior lighting plays a major role in the vehicle and is controlled from the first navigation level of the infotainment system. From here, the driver can either directly select 24 different colors, link the color of the interior lighting to the driving mode or activate 'show mode'. For the first time ever, the color no longer changes in a static fashion. In other words, not all light guides change color at the same time; instead the change is dynamic. Starting from the center screen, the color change moves to the drinks holder and doors like a continuous strip, creating a novel experience for the driver. The driver can also link the interior lighting to the driving mode and for example by enjoying a gentle blue interior when in 'cruise mode'. In 'track mode' the interior lights up a strong orange and in 'sport mode' a racy red. 'Show mode"' is a separate light show, which can be used in park mode and illuminates the interior in various color families in a defined order.

Another special technical highlight is the fact that all the colors in the interior are matched to one another despite the use of different materials. The light guide of the head-up display is surrounded by a gray cover, which in daylight fuses into the black cover of the dashboard. At night, however, the light has the same effect as the other light guides in the ambient interior lighting. Calibration of the LED modules during the production process is more complex as a result. Not only do the LED colors have to be selected, but they also have to be sorted by intensity and brightness. The correction matrix produced for each individual LED chip also contains information about the material's color change. The color change was measured by the HELLA engineers during the development process so that exactly the same tone is achieved everywhere.

Not only is HELLA providing the lighting equipment for the Camaro, the company also developed the controls for this new interior concept. The software of the existing Ambient Lighting Control Module (ALCM) control unit was refined to be able to implement the different lighting scenarios in the interior.

As a special feature, parts of the lighting package can be retrofitted. For example, there are additional footwell lights for the vehicle models not fitted with the optional interior light package and the doors can be interchanged. The driver can then manually control the interior lighting with a control unit.