Osram, one of the leading companies in the field of automotive car lighting unveiled its latest high-tech automotive applications at the ongoing Consumer Electronics
Show (CES) in Las Vegas. According to Olaf Berlien, CEO of OSRAM Licht AG, Osram’s car lighting technologies will offer drivers smart and stylish design options, while significantly enhancing road safety.
When compared to conventional lights, laser-based car lighting is much brighter and enables a doubled high-beam range. This improves down-road visibility and clarity for the drivers thus improving the safety of everyone on the road. Generally, accidents and fatalities are four times more likely to occur in the case of night-time travel when compared to day-time travel. Another innovation of Osram’s is a glare-free full-beam.
When it comes to autonomous cars, Stefan Kampmann, CTO of Osram said that the company will provide virtual eyes for autonomous driving cars. A modern car has about 200 light sources, some using invisible light, like the technologies for driver monitoring, smart surroundings analysis and for proximity detection. Those who visited the Osram stall at CES had a chance to participate in a a virtual reality (VR) adventure that allowed them to experience light from a wide range of sources ranging from ambience lighting to extra-bright and far-reaching headlights.
The latest automotive lighting technology which uses invisible light, LiDAR (light detection and ranging),forms an integral part of advanced driver-assistance systems, thus increasingly enabling semi-autonomous to fully autonomous driving capabilities. LiDAR systems generate laser pulses that hit objects and reflect light back onto a detector. The time taken by the laser beam to travel to an object is used to determine the distance to the object. Osram’s multi-channel laser light source allows vehicles to generate an accurate, three-dimensional image of their surroundings and use this information to initiate the appropriate driving maneuvers. An accurate evaluation of the vehicle’s surroundings is crucial for safe autonomous driving.
Headlights that use laser technology are the next advancement in automotive lighting. Laser has high luminance, and this is about five times higher than other light sources that are currently available. Laser headlights double the reach of headlights with 300 meters now increasing to 600 meters. Osram’s energy-efficient laser lighting comprises some of the smallest technology components available, and was first seen in the BMW i8, the BMW 7 series and the Audi R8 und R8 LMX as boosters added to the high beam.
Another new trend that will shape automotive lighting in the future is the development of advanced pixel headlights. Osram collaborated closely with partners to develop a tiny LED matrix chip with more than 1,000 individually controllable pixels. A headlight that has several such LED chips will facilitate permanent driving with glare-free full beam. An onboard camera can be used to detect oncoming vehicle and pedestrian traffic, thus automatically dimming the high-resolution LED chips to ensure that they are spared from the effects of the full beam. Thus, the driver gets the benfit of the maximum possible light at night, without affecting others on the road. Osram is hoping to commercialize this technology by the end of this decade.
When it comes to rear lights, the most innovative technology is the use of Organic LEDs (OLEDs) which emit light in very thin layers, thus opening up new avenues for design. OLEDs can be separated making it possible to arrange switchable light surfaces very close to each other. This makes it easy to create effects like 3D shadow effects. In the near future, it would be possible to expand design options further through the production of OLEDs on foils, making it possible to bend them into any shape of our choice. Another great advantage of OLED technology is that it consumes very little energy.
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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