Not all light is the same: how headlamps illuminate the road surface varies from region to region. In the USA, for example, the low beam of a vehicle may illuminate both lanes further into the distance, while in the European Union the focus is more on illuminating one’s own lane and minimizing glare for other road users. On the other hand, legislation in the USA only permits the classic main light functions of low beam, fog light and high beam, while in the EU dynamic light distribution up to digitally controlled glare-free high beam is permitted.
In order to ensure the specified light distribution, different optical systems have to be developed and manufactured for vehicle headlamps depending on the area they are going to be used in. Taking into account right-hand and left-hand traffic, up to 12 technically different types of headlamps may therefore be required for a global vehicle model.
With the new world headlamp that Hella is launching on the market in summer 2020 for a globally positioned premium manufacturer, this variety of variants will become superfluous. The light in this headlamp is adjusted via an identical SSL 100 light module just by controlling it via software. The digital control can activate each pixel individually and display the entire light distribution according to the respective regional regulations. For example, the identical headlamp provides ideal illumination of a roundabout in right-hand or left-hand traffic and prevents oncoming traffic from being dazzled.
Hella is working consistently on the digitalization of light and will in future digitally cover the entire range of LED headlamps from 100 light pixels to high-resolution SSL | HD technologies with tens of thousands of light pixels. “With our innovative headlamp modules, we have a technical basis for implementing all lighting functions by using software and flexibly adapting them to regional requirements. This also includes additional functions such as glare-free high beam or projected orientation lines on the road,” says Dr. Michael Kleinkes, responsible for lighting technology development at Hella. “On the one hand, this will enable us to further accelerate our development process, and on the other hand, it will reduce the effort required for the development, production and logistics of regional headlamp variants.