Intelligent LED headlamps will make nighttime driving safer

Intelligent LED headlamps will make nighttime driving safer

Adaptive forward lighting, in other words, glare-free camera-controlled headlamps that react instantly to changing conditions at night, will be helping to keep drivers and their passengers safer, as a consortium of high-tech automotive heavyweights design and build additional intelligent functions. The key to this complex functionality is the integration of microelectronics and optoelectronics – one of the principal aspects of the research project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FMER). Osram Opto Semiconductors is contributing its expertise as the project coordinator and market leader in LED lighting for the automotive sector.

The aim of this joint project as part of the FMER “Integrated microphotonics” initiative is to develop the technical framework for a new class of energy-efficient LED headlamps with supplementary traffic safety functions. This can provide the basis for adaptive forward lighting systems (AFS) that offer drivers and passengers increased safety with functions such as glare-free high-beams and low-beams that adapt to the speed of the vehicle. At high speed, the range of the light will be automatically increased. In city traffic, however, a wider distribution of the light can improve road safety by illuminating more of the sidewalk and other peripheral elements such as pedestrians and cyclists. These functions are fully electronic, so there is no need for mechanical actuators.

New technologies for LED headlamps

Osram Opto Semiconductors is bringing its expertise to this project as the project coordinator and market leader in LED lighting for the automotive sector. The semiconductor specialist has extensive know-how in chip and converter technologies, and Osram’s Specialty Lighting division will be developing new electronic control gear for controlling the LED headlamp system. The Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) is contributing its expertise in interconnection technology and materials, and Infineon Technologies is offering its experience in automotive electronics and LED drivers. The automotive industry supplier and lighting specialist HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co. will develop the entire optical system for the LED module and the headlamps, and will build prototypes. Daimler, a major engineering powerhouse in the automotive sector, will carry out the vehicle tests.

Project coordinator Stefan Grötsch, responsible for LED applications in automotive lighting at Osram Opto Semiconductors, is satisfied with the progress so far: “We have brought together major players in their respective sectors,” he said, “and have assembled a wealth of expertise for this pioneering project.” Together, these experts will make safer driving applications a priority for automakers worldwide.

The platform for future developments is provided by existing multichip LEDs, such as the Osram Ostar Headlamp.

Picture: Osram

Driving at night: in greater safety thanks to new technologies.

Picture: Osram

www.osram-os.com/pr-research-project-automotive

About Osram Opto Semiconductors

OSRAM GmbH of Munich, Germany is one of the two leading light manufacturers in the world. Its subsidiary, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH in Regensburg (Germany), offers its customers solutions based on semiconductor technology for lighting, sensor and visualization applications. Osram Opto Semiconductors has production sites in Regensburg (Germany) and Penang (Malaysia). Its headquarters for North America is in Sunnyvale (USA), and for Asia in Hong Kong. Osram Opto Semiconductors also has sales offices throughout the world. For more information go to www.osram-os.com.

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