In this dynamic context, Yole’s analysts propose today a new technology and market report dedicated to the automotive lighting industry and innovations. The Advanced Front-Lighting Systems report is offering a comprehensive overview of the overall ecosystem, highlighting the latest technical innovations and the market evolution. In this report, Yole presents technology roadmaps for light sources (LEDs and lasers), and building blocks of AFLS architecture including lighting, sensing, computing, and software control. In addition, AFLS lighting technologies and penetration into different car segments are also detailed.
The digitalization of cars is a megatrend in the automotive industry, moving towards electric and autonomous vehicles. The developments related to this trend facilitate new approaches in safety, comfort, and information services. Exterior lighting is gaining significance because automated driving advancements have illustrated the importance of communication between all road users.
“Today, digital lighting is a key area of investigation for the automotive lighting supply chain, since it enables smarter lighting functionalities, safer ADB designs with cameras, and AI in the loop,” explains Martin Vallo from Yole.
Two approaches are being investigated for image generation: additive and subtractive. Images from DMD, LCDs, and LCoS are formed with illumining optics to ensure precise illumination of the corresponding SLM . The micro-structured adaptive front-lighting system (or μAFS) forms the light distribution by projecting the light-emitting surface of each LED pixel onto the road. Pixel LED itself is a novel technology, consisting of more than 1,000 pixel points per chip, with tiny pitch.
Additionally, AFLS architecture integrates other inevitable building blocks. These include cameras and sensors enabling detection and identification of objects, ECUs for fast computing of information, and software for effective image processing and automation of functions. Based on image processing functions and intelligent settings in the projection module, critical areas of oncoming traffic that might face glare are removed from the high-beam’s distribution, with the rest of the high-beam field remaining intact for the driver’s convenience. With these new digital headlight technologies, light distribution must be reinvented. High resolution, combined with flexible software and wide-ranging sensor integration, creates options that were once inconceivable.