Headlight doubles as a warning symbol projector

March 05, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Headlight doubles as a warning symbol projector
Vehicle manufacturer Daimler uses the headlamps not only for street lighting. In future, the headlamps will also be used in conjunction with driver assistance systems to project warning symbols and light markings onto the road to warn drivers of dangerous situations. The Matrix headlamps will soon be launched on the market in a small series in Daimler's luxury brand Maybach.

The headlights are controlled by micro-mirrors. Each spotlight is equipped with more than one million of these micro-mirrors, corresponding to a resolution of more than one megapixel. In addition to projecting symbols onto the road in front of the vehicle, the HD headlamps have even more functions: Camera and sensor systems in the vehicle recognize other road users. This data is evaluated by means of a separate computer, merged with the navigation data and used to control the light distribution. For example, when passing through a construction site, the vehicle can project two light tracks onto the roadway, which correspond to the overall width of the car. These guide lines help the driver to find his way around.

If a pedestrian is detected within range of the headlamps, the system projects an arrow onto the roadway pointing in the direction of the pedestrian. At the same time, the light cone is adjusted so that the pedestrian is not dazzled.

Another function helps the driver to adjust the distance to the vehicle in front according to the situation. This function works with the Adaptive Cruise Control. If the driver changes the distance setting, a corresponding distance marker is displayed to support the adjustment.

The matrix headlight has 
a library of symbols for widespread
traffic hazards

For certain hazardous situations, the headlamp developers have developed special symbols that are projected onto the road and are intended to draw the driver's attention to the danger as additional information. To this end, Daimler has developed symbols for construction sites, leaving the lane, a blind spot warning system, slippery roads and too close to the vehicle in front. A symbol for high speed is also part of the vehicle's repertoire.

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