Motor Equipment News - - CONTENTS - By John Ox­ley

Al­though laser light­ing tech­nol­ogy, first seen on the su­per­fast rac­ers at the Le Mans 24 Hours, has started to ap­pear on a few top-end lux­ury and sports cars, it’s in­ter­est­ing to see that car­mak­ers are turn­ing more and more to LED tech­nol­ogy to ful­fil their car light­ing needs, even on their top mod­els, in­clud­ing a “think­ing” chip that doesn’t need ex­tra hard­ware such as cam­eras to pre­vent daz­zling.

Lasers made au­to­mo­tive news when they were adopted on the BMW i8 elec­tric sports car, then on the Audi R8 LMX su­per­car, and later on the BMW 7 Se­ries, af­ter ex­ten­sive test­ing at Le Mans.

At the time laser light was seen as an ab­so­lute in­no­va­tion in au­to­mo­tive light­ing and the next big step for­ward since the in­tro­duc­tion of halo­gen, xenon, and LED head­light tech­nolo­gies, es­pe­cially since it al­lows head­lights to be much smaller and more ef­fi­cient.

Laser diodes are par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive due to their small size: one laser diode bright­ness is four times that of LEDs, al­low­ing for much smaller head­lights – with­out com­pro­mis­ing on light in­ten­sity.

The pri­mary ben­e­fit for driv­ers is that these head­lights will have ex­tra­long range of up to 600 me­ters – dou­ble the dis­tance of most stan­dard LED head­lights.

How­ever, ab­so­lute range isn’t the only re­quire­ment for head­lights. It’s es­sen­tial that other road users aren’t daz­zled by ul­tra-bright lights, and it is for this rea­son that Audi has cho­sen Os­ram Opto semi­con­duc­tors in the front light­ing of its new flag­ship.

The in­no­va­tive fea­ture of the Audi A8’s HD ma­trix head­lights is that for the first time the Os­lon Com­pact PL LEDs are ar­ranged in two lines. As a re­sult, other road users are masked out more pre­cisely by the light beam and are not daz­zled.

The Os­lon Com­pact PL has an elec­tri­cally in­su­lated ther­mal con­tact. By us­ing ap­pro­pri­ate pcb tech­nolo­gies the ther­mal con­nec­tion can be sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved, which leads to a higher lu­mi­nous flux. At the same time, notch­less chip tech­nol­ogy al­lows the op­ti­cal sys­tems to be more ef­fi­cient. It is be­ing used for the first time in the new Audi A8 as adap­tive high beam and low beam.

The Os­lon Black Flat S fam­ily, which also fea­tures notch­less chip tech­nol­ogy and is also cel­e­brat­ing its pre­miere, has now been in­stalled in the Audi A8 for the first time in its three-chip ver­sion. The in­di­vid­u­ally con­trol­lable chips al­low for the light beam to be ad­justed to the re­spec­tive sit­u­a­tion, e.g. in city traf­fic or on the high­way, in­creas­ing vis­ual com­fort

How­ever, ef­fec­tive as it may be this is still quite com­plex, es­pe­cially in the steps taken to pre­vent daz­zling, so now Os­ram Opto Semi­con­duc­tors has re­vealed a new “think­ing” LED chip, the Eviyos pro­to­type, the world’s first hy­brid LED which will bne de­vel­oped to be the first mar­ket-ready smart con­trol­lable high-res­o­lu­tion LED.

As soon as on­com­ing traf­fic is de­tected the ap­pro­pri­ate pix­els are au­to­mat­i­cally switched off so driv­ers of on­com­ing ve­hi­cles are not daz­zled.

This dif­fer­en­ti­ates if from ex­ist­ing vari­able beam head­lights, which use a con­stantly-on me­tal halide light source and a vari­able shadow mask to ab­sorb un­wanted light.

Cam­era feed­back is used to turn off of dim pix­els that would cause light to shine in the eyes of on­com­ing road users, or re­flec­tive road signs that could daz­zle the user.

How­ever, in the Os­ram pro­to­type two tech­nolo­gies are com­bined in one com­po­nent: a light emit­ting chip and in­di­vid­ual pixel con­trol elec­tron­ics. This com­bi­na­tion means that the 1,024 pix­els of Eviyos plus the driver are all ac­com­mo­dated in a foot­print of ap­prox­i­mately 4mm x 4mm.

“The hy­brid LED is an­other ex­am­ple of our prod­ucts mak­ing a ma­jor con­tri­bu­tion to im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life in many dif­fer­ent ar­eas. With Eviyos we are help­ing to make the roads safer and im­prove com­fort and con­ve­nience for driv­ers. We are proud that we can present the first pro­to­type so soon af­ter com­plet­ing the re­search project. We are now an­other stage fur­ther to­ward se­ries pro­duc­tion,” said Thomas Christl, mar­ket­ing man­ager at Os­ram Opto Semi­con­duc­tors.

Eviyos is not only com­pact and pow­er­ful but also en­ergy-ef­fi­cient thanks to the pre­cise con­trol and dimma­bil­ity of the in­di­vid­ual pix­els. The only pix­els that are ever on are the ones that are ac­tu­ally needed at the time.

At its planned launch at the start of 2020 Eviyos will form a sep­a­rate prod­uct fam­ily of­fer­ing a wide range of pos­si­ble ap­pli­ca­tions. Smart head­lights are just one of the po­ten­tial ar­eas in which in­tel­li­gent selec­tive pixel con­trol can be ap­plied.

Audi A8

How the Eviyos blanks out its pix­els to pre­vent daz­zling

The Eviyos chip

BMW i8 laser light

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