Do your headlights “talk”? The new semi-dynamic projection lighting is on!

At present, the lighting effects of projection lighting are the latest way to show the interaction between the car and the driver. Micro-LED components and micro-lens arrays are assembled on the rear-view mirrors, welcome pedals, etc. of the car, and emit light strips to the road or sidewalk, thus creating the effect of a welcome light blanket. That is, when the wireless car key is near the car, the car will greet the driver in the form of lights.

Advanced LED and Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology allows the welcome light blanket to greet motorists on wet and cold nights.

The driver is in a space full of various perceptions. The smell of leather seats, the hum of the engine, the propulsion of the car’s acceleration transmitted to the back, all these perceptions are the link between the human and the car.

How a car looks to people’s eyes also has a big impact on perception. Automakers’ freedom to advertise car features based on their shape is constrained by safety regulations and aerodynamic efficiency, so they are constantly looking for new optical signaling features in cars, such as headlight designs and turn signal patterns.

At present, the lighting effects of projection lighting are the latest way to show the interaction between the car and the driver. Micro-LED components and micro-lens arrays are assembled on the rear-view mirrors, welcome pedals, etc. of the car, and emit light strips to the road or sidewalk, thus creating the effect of a welcome light blanket. That is, when the wireless car key is near the car, the car will greet the driver in the form of lights.

Projection lighting is a leading optoelectronic technology developed by ams and Osram. The company is currently working on the research and development of a new generation of projection lighting technology to realize light projection from static to semi-dynamic, bringing new innovation possibilities to automakers. The purpose of developing this technology is to make the driver feel the inner excitement when he sees the welcome light strip shining on the ground on the wet and cold night.

Projection lighting systems: complex precision components

Osram’s innovations in optics form the basis for the use of projection lighting systems in new passenger car designs. This technology currently enables both:

– Ultra-small size. The entire projected lighting system can thus be easily installed in unused spaces, such as under the rearview mirror or door sills.
– Beautiful shape. The projected light allows the light and shadow of graphics, such as patterns, symbols or logos, to be clearly and concentratedly displayed.

These miniature projection illumination systems consist of lens assemblies known as microlens arrays (MLAs) (pictured below). The light from the LED emitter is projected through a collimator and concentrated into a lens array.

Do your headlights “talk”? The new semi-dynamic projection lighting is on!

Do your headlights “talk”? The new semi-dynamic projection lighting is on!

Remarkably, each micron-sized lens can be individually designed so that when light is emitted through the array, the desired pattern is obtained, forming an elliptical strip of light in the “image plane.” An “image plane” is a plane on which graphics are displayed, such as sidewalks and roads.

While this technology currently only enables the projection of static images, the latest innovation from ams and Osram enables semi-dynamic projected illumination. In the ams Osram technology, a segmented MLA is combined with four collimating lenses separated by optical splitters and equipped with four independently controlled LED light sources.

Micro lens manufacturing

This technology can be used in high-volume consumer products such as automobiles. This is a contribution to optoelectronic manufacturing technology and reflects the expertise of ams and Osram. Microlens assemblies are produced to wafer-level optical component production standards using techniques and equipment commonly used in the semiconductor industry.

The capabilities of the wafer-level optical production process are outstanding, ensuring product accuracy and ultra-small size: ±5µm per unit of optical component arrangement, and ±30µm for optical components and device configurations. The high precision of this manufacturing process ensures high fidelity of the lens replicas, which project sharply focused images.

Show the charm of the car with light

Since the advent of high-power LEDs, automakers have experimented with branding and characterizing lights, such as animating turn signals or creating uniquely shaped daytime running lights.

But for the most part, the light’s function in terms of lighting has remained the same. Using ams Osram’s projection lighting technology, car manufacturers can create lighting systems that communicate and interact with each other. With the new semi-dynamic projection lighting technology, the car can communicate with the user inside and outside the cabin. Combining this with features like proximity sensing, for example, the car can sense the presence of drivers through projected lighting and greet drivers with light as they approach. Inside the cabin, projection lighting can improve the comfort and convenience of drivers and passengers, and it is also an opportunity to create ambient light and highlight the uniqueness of the car.

The use of projected lighting technology in new vehicle designs opens up unprecedented potential opportunities for automakers to make vehicles safer and more convenient, while balancing beauty, character and function. This can be seen in the creative image below.

Do your headlights “talk”? The new semi-dynamic projection lighting is on!

Projection lighting also has significant safety value. Signal projections on the ground from the rear-view mirror or projection of turn signals and taillights onto the road can make the driver’s intentions highly visible and clearly presented to pedestrians, cyclists, and people using other vehicles on the road. .

Do your headlights “talk”? The new semi-dynamic projection lighting is on!

ams Osram complete optical system solutions

Projection lighting technology combines wafer-level optics with advanced LED emitters and is a core expertise of ams Osram. Working with customers in the automotive market and beyond, our experts in projection lighting technology can optimize LED emitter and microlens assemblies for higher image quality, creating high-quality solutions that can be easily integrated into new automotive designs.

This application of optical technology is another example of how ams Osram brings intelligence to light, injects passion into innovation and enriches people’s lives.

To learn more about the application of ams Osram projection lighting, please click to read the original article Visit our virtual showroom and watch more demonstration videos.

About the Author:

Do your headlights “talk”? The new semi-dynamic projection lighting is on!
Sinisa Doohnal

Sinisa Doohnal graduated in computer science from the University of Dortmund and started his career in the automotive industry in 1996. He has worked in several automotive fields, including automotive lighting. In 2018, he joined ams Osram and is currently the Product Manager Projection Lighting Solutions (PLS) in the ISS division.

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