For the new CLS headlights the car manufacturer uses an adaptive front lighting system (AFS) to provide greater visibility in every situation and therefore offer road users better protection from accidents. The light sources are Oslon Compact light-emitting diodes from Osram; each module in the headlight is equipped with 24 LEDs. With package dimensions of 1.6 mm x 1.2 mm they are extremely compact so they can be arranged close to one another in the headlight with a high degree of flexibility. These light-emitting diodes therefore provide the basis for both AFS and light guide solutions.
To achieve the desired light distribution the car manufacturer uses a camera mounted on the windshield to cover the area in front of the vehicle. Four controllers in the vehicle perform calculations 100 times per second to determine the best lighting for the driver. Adaptive lighting systems enable the road ahead to be lit with precisely controlled distribution without dazzling other road users.
Daimler AG and Osram Opto Semiconductors are also cooperating on research projects. In the μAFS project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) they are working with other partners on possible automotive lighting of the future. The aim of the project is to develop the technical principles for a new class of energy-efficient LED headlamps which then may provide the basis for adaptive front lighting systems. The first major milestone has been reached recently when Osram presented a new type of LED chip with 256 pixels that can be controlled separately.