Jan 8, 2018

Why The Future of Smart Cars Requires Bright Lights

Category: Automotive

By Jy Bhardwaj, Chief Technology Officer

Every year, new cars hitting the road come with unparalleled sensors and autonomy with a remarkable gain in intelligence from just the year prior. Thanks to sensing technology, we’re seeing cars evolve beyond strictly transportation to become intelligent assistants to help us identify and navigate around dangers on the road. As the Detroit Auto Show approaches, at Lumileds, we see two key technologies coming into prominence for the year ahead.


Why The Future of Smart Cars Requires Bright Lights

Already deployed in Europe, we see more interest around Advanced Driving Beam (ADB) in the U.S. market over the next couple years. Delivering maximum visibility for the driver, ADB allows high beams to always be active without creating any glare. The technology has been praised for its ability to maintain safety for not just the driver of the vehicle with ADB, but also in reducing glare for other drivers or nearby pedestrians on the road. Additionally, ADB can reduce glare from reflecting traffic signs, improving the driver’s visual comfort.

The marvel of this technology works thanks to built-in cameras and advanced high-brightness LEDs. When the cameras embedded in the car detect oncoming traffic or pedestrians, the car automatically turns off the respective zone by switching off the related positions in a LED matrix headlamp.

Following on from adoption in Europe, in the U.S. we see 2018 and 2019 as the years for this technology to come forward, as Transportation (DOT) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are reviewing ADB for use in cars. As ADB sees use, consumers will recognize it as an important safety enhancing lighting feature that will reduce nighttime traffic accidents.

2: LADAR/LIDAR for the Car & Smart City

Over the next couple of years, we expect to see more lighting solutions deployed in combination with sensing applications. LIDAR/LADAR technology is already known for its ability to enable the self-driving car in sensing obstacles by using scanning laser beams.

Taking the sensing technology further, we see LADAR/LIDAR being used to create smart outdoor lighting for cities and roadways – detecting occupancy to turn off the lights automatically when no one is present. We’re particularly excited by what this automation can bring when combining data from the smart vehicle to the smart city. This aggregated sensory information could be used to identify trends for governments (DOT, DOE), service providers, businesses and consumers.

Looking to these two light and sensing technologies, we’re excited by the intelligent lighting solutions we’ll see in in the coming years.

What are your top automotive lighting predictions for 2018? Give us a tweet at @Lumileds