The integration of new semiconductor/electronic-based components is also enabling the realization of full electronic systems, combining solid state lighting, sensors and software, and by extension the development of advanced lighting functionalities.
The main objective of these functionalities is to offer beam patterns that automatically adjust to the driving environment. Recently, the use of matrix LED systems combined with camera and image processing functions has allowed for creation of new lighting functions like adaptive front lighting and glare-free lighting. And such evolution toward photonic and full electronic systems is opening a new era/revolution for automotive lighting: the implementation of digital light to further enhance the value of lighting.
Overall, digital lighting enables high resolution front lighting systems, offering new low and high beam functions, to increase road safety and driver comfort, and can make automotive lighting more intelligent. Additionally, this trend of digitalization is supported by the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), as lighting could serve as a communication tool within the environment of the car, for example for car-to-pedestrian communication.
Today, digital lighting is a key area of investigation for the automotive lighting supply chain as it represents the future of automotive lighting. And several new technologies/systems are being investigated, including DMD/digital light projection (DLP), laser scanners, liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and micro-/mini-LED. An interesting fact is that such lighting systems are providing ever more synergy with projection/display systems as their function is evolving toward communication, like projecting information onto the road. And new parameters now have to be taken into account for related developments, such as resolution, field of view (FOV) and pixel density.
However several barriers have still to be overcome in areas including technology, manufacturing, and regulation. Those challenges will be reinforced as digital light further tightens the relationship between lighting, automotive sensors and data processing.
Yole's report presents a complete overview of new lighting technologies and advanced front lighting systems (AFLS), providing details regarding benefits and drawbacks, integration status, and development roadmaps. The report gives insights into the future of automotive lighting with analysis on synergies with ADAS.