HELLA AUTOTECHNIK, Ltd. – Headlamp development
Vehicle lighting has recently undergone a period of rapid technical development :
- Xenon discharge lamps have been developed and introduced in xenon and bi–xenon headlamps during the last decade. The first generation of Adaptive Headlamps (AFS) equipped by swivelling bi–xenon modules was launched in 2003. More information...
- In 2007 the first vehicles equipped with 2nd generation AFS headlamps emerged on roads. Light pattern varies according to driving conditions and ambient traffic situations. Besides curve light also dedicated motorway beam and a few more low beam modes have been introduced. Hella Autotechnik s.r.o. launched AFS2 headlamp for the new Skoda Superb in 2008.
- Solid-state lighting gains increasing the number of applications in vehicle exterior lighting. LEDs have superior lifetime and light efficency compared to conventional bulbs. Light output of high brightness multichip LEDs has been recently upgraded to a level, that made LED low and high beam feasible – Lexus, Audi and Cadillac were the first car makers introducing LED headlamps. Hella supplies full LED headlamp for the Cadillac Escalade. Headlamps and rear lamps utilizing LED technologies offer new styling and design opportunities and provide much more opportunities for brand image. As an example of so called signature lighting we can mention circular light guide position or day-time running lamp (DRL) in BMW headlamps: application of LEDs can eliminate some technical constraints of bulbs (package space, heat etc.). Therefore new models in development will utilize LEDs for such applications.
Recent vehicle lighting must fulfil more and more severe operating conditions (e.g. higher temperatures) and must fit into a smaller package volume. Also the time for innovation cycle is shrinking and therefore the development is increasingly based on computer modelling and simulations. Headlamps and rear lamps are significant styling features; attention of stylists paid to lamps corresponds to this. All these influences makes headlamps interesting and an attractive product for specialist of different fields: designers, optical engineers and physicists, CAE specialist, stylists and project managers are the essential competences needed for capable headlamp development.