HELLA teamed up with Covestro, which is a key player in the polymer industry to develop what the company claims is an industry-first holographic rear-lighting system with 3D effects for passenger vehicles. The company demonstrated the new system for the first time at a recent trade show Duesseldorf, Germany. The front lights of the vehicle consisted of a seamless, continuous light strip that ran across the entire front of the vehicle.
HELLA and Covestro have been working together from 2012, and have used their combined expertise in the field of lighting, electronics and plastics technologies to come up with innovative designs for front and rear automotive lighting.
The unique rear lighting system is derived from a lamp comprising three parts, with each part being equipped with holographic technology. The holograms were developed by designers at HELLA and these designs were then incorporated by the Covestro team into a transparent holographic film. The film was then laminated onto a 3 mm glass plate. Down the line plastic will be instead of glass in production applications.
Dr. Michael Kleinkes, head of Development Lighting Technology at HELLA said that holographic films are the ideal medium for integrating different lighting functions into the body of a car in a space-saving manner. He added, “The installation depth can be reduced and auto manufacturers will have the ability to install lamps that are more compact in size.” A 3 D effect is created by illuminating the holographic film from behind by LED light sources and reflectors. The outer elements of each lamp has numerous holographic “flakes.” A middle lamp on which the HELLA and Covestro logos appear to be floating is integrated into the tailgate.
Instead of a separate rear high mounted stoplight and a center high mount stop lamp, there is a unique single unit that extends across the entire rear of the vehicle.
Kleinkes said that it would be possible to implement this approach in series production almost immediately as all statutory regulations have been met.
The vehicle’s tail lights are visually combined with the direction indicators, or turn signals, using a diffuser film with diffractive optics developed by Covestro. The diffuser film forms and distributes uniform light beams with a minimal loss of light. Bi-colored LEDs generate rear turn signals and tail-light functions. Sequential turn signals are also possible with the vehicle’s LED light system.
HELLA and Covestro created seamless, uniform front-surface signal lighting for the vehicle as well. Signal functions are generated by a three-part EdgeLight light guide that spans the entire front of the vehicle as a continuous strip of light. The two outer parts of the light guide create the direction-indicator lights, as well as daytime running lights, which also can be dimmed to position lighting. The middle light guide is responsible for the continuous daytime running lights and a position light signature. Both functions can be animated.
The area in front of the vehicle is illuminated using four ComLED modules. The two main lighting functions of low beam and high beam lighting are executed by the matrix HD84 module developed by HELLA.
Additional animation like a welcome light function is possible through LED displays that are integrated into both the front and rear of the vehicle. I tis likely that later on, it might be possible to illuminate the rear light with messages like “STOP” both in order to improve the driving experience and to increase the safety factor for both drivers and pedestrians.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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