The automotive lighting technology industry has been working to ensure optimal illumination of traffic areas for many years. On the one hand, the road and its surroundings should be illuminated as brightly as possible, so that the driver can safely recognise objects in the traffic area. On the other hand, other road users and the driver themselves should not be dazzled. As such, one of the focal areas for HELLA's lighting technology specialists is to figure out the best way to reconcile, or even eliminate, the conflicting objectives of ensuring excellent illumination while eliminating glare for both the driver and other road users.
The classic solution is switching between high beam and low beam. While the high beam provides a light distribution optimised for illuminating the road, the low beam is a kind of compromise solution to avoid glare. Therefore, the combination high beam/low beam does not represent the optimal state-of-the-art solution when it comes to safety during nighttime driving. A simple, obvious improvement in adverse weather conditions would be to equip the vehicle with special auxiliary headlamps, such as fog lamps, which can be turned on or off by the driver according to the situation. The next step would be to not implement these additional lighting functions as individual auxiliary headlamps, but to integrate them into the main headlamps and to make the switch between various light distributions automatic. This is the basic concept of AFS headlamp systems (Advanced Front Lighting System).