Industry consortium develops glare-free headlamps

May 14, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Adaptive forward lighting - glare-free camera-controlled headlamps that react instantly - will help drivers in the future thanks to additional intelligent functions. The key to this complex functionality is the integration of microelectronics and optoelectronics – one of the principal aspects of the Photonics Research Germany program.

The aim of the project as part of the FMER “Integrated microphotonics” initiative is to develop the technical framework for a new class of energy-efficient LED headlamps with supplementary traffic safety functions. This can provide the basis for adaptive forward lighting systems (AFS) that offer drivers and passengers increased safety. Improved safety will come for example from glare-free high-beam and low-beam that adapts to the speed of the vehicle. At high speed the range of the light is automatically increased. In city traffic a wider distribution of the light can improve road safety by illuminating more of the sidewalk and margins. These functions are fully electronic so there is no need for mechanical actuators.

Osram Opto Semiconductors has assumed the function of the project coordinator. Osram's Specialty Lighting division will be developing new electronic control gear for controlling the LED headlamp system. The Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) is contributing its expertise in interconnection technology and materials, and chipmaker Infineon is offering its experience in automotive electronics and LED drivers. Automotive supplier and lighting specialist Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. will develop the optical system for the LED module and the headlamps, and will build prototypes. Carmaker Daimler will carry out the vehicle tests.

The project is being sponsored by the German research ministry and is scheduled to run to January 31, 2016.