Lippstadt, March 14, 2018.
Lighting and electronics expert HELLA has substantially expanded the functions of its "NIGHTDRIVE" app, which was first presented in 2013. The company now offers users even more content and cross-media interaction options to allow them to experience the lighting systems of today and tomorrow. The free app is available now in German, English and Chinese for iOS and Android devices in the App Store and Google Play Store respectively.
According to two studies conducted by the technical colleges TU Darmstadt and THM Gießen, objects can be detected around 30 meters earlier when using a glare-free high beam system at night and driving at 80 km/h. "This equates to an additional response time of 1.3 seconds," says Steffen Pietzonka, who is responsible for marketing lighting at HELLA. "Many drivers have absolutely no idea of these current lighting technologies or their potential to increase safety on the road. One of the reasons for this is that it is still rare to drive a new vehicle at night before buying it." This is where the NIGHTDRIVE app from HELLA can help. The application enables users to inform themselves about various lighting systems through their smartphone with relevant texts and images. In the new version of the app, users are also given further background knowledge through a direct link to YouTube. In addition, they can test and compare all functions in the course of a night-time drive on a virtual test track.
As a highlight of the app, users are able to experience functions which are currently still in the early stages of development. "The app allows us to grant a glimpse behind the scenes of our lighting development," says Pietzonka. "Users will see the headlamp functions that we're working on today with a view to being able to experience them on the roads of the future. They can try these out for themselves already using the app." These functions include visual road-surface guidance, optical distance warning, ideal driving lines, cycle-path illumination and visual safety zones. However, users are able to rate the functions in addition to simply testing them. "This enables us to assess which functions are particularly useful from the users' point of view. The feedback we gain from this is then directly incorporated into our development processes." HELLA continuously expands the app to include new features, and makes additional lighting functions available at regular intervals.
In addition to the functions of the future, current headlamp functions which are already available on the market are also presented to users through the app. Some examples of these include the low beam and high beam, high-beam assistant, cornering and bend lighting, advanced front-lighting systems with country lighting, highway lighting, town lighting and adverse-weather lighting, in addition to state-of-the-art camera-based systems like glare-free high-beam lighting. An "Endless Runner" driving game can be used to test these in various levels on randomly generated test tracks. In this game, players avoid obstacles and collect coins, which enables them to gradually unlock a variety of lighting systems. After playing, they can post their results straight to Facebook.