Electromobility and automated driving are massively changing the vehicle interior of the future. For this, HELLA is developing a new ambient lighting system: It brings intelligence into the vehicle and increases comfort, well-being and safety.
The megatrends of electromobility and automated driving will massively change the vehicle interior of the future. "When the driver no longer has to focus on the road, the interior of the car can be used in a variety of ways. Ambient interior lighting supports different driving situations and, depending on the situation, can transform the interior into an office with white light or create a lounge atmosphere with subdued colors," says Yves Andres, responsible for the Business Group Lighting within the HELLA Management Board. "Today, manufacturers can already use lighting animations to create a unique brand experience in the interior."
The new HELLA Slim Light System can indirectly set the scene for the interior and also enable wide-area lighting, such as in the door. The most striking feature of this system is its slim design and light weight. It can be embedded between several layers, not exceeding a thickness of eight millimeters. By way of comparison, current systems measure around 20 millimeters. The Slim Light System can thus illuminate previously unused space in the dashboard, headliner or door, transforming the car into a luxurious environment. Depending on customer requirements, the system can be combined with different surface materials and designs. Also, up to four LED modules can be coupled into the system. In addition to a complete palette of individual colours, this also enables dynamic lighting scenarios within the surface.
A light guide ensures homogeneous light distribution of the Slim Light System, while the HELLA High Power Module ensures day and night visibility. This is particularly powerful and energy-efficient. This is particularly powerful and energy-efficient: delivering ca. 8x more light output, compared to standard RGB LED modules, with a 3.5x greater lumen/watt ratio. This allows ambient lighting scenarios to be perceived also in daylight.
"As with many of our products, we are in the process of adding sensor functions to the system and further increasing flexibility," says Yves Andres. "Above all, light can also actively support safety and comfort tasks because it is intuitively understandable." To make such scenarios a reality, the flat design of the Slim Light System provides an ideal basis for this. In this way, the installation space gained can be used for the integration of further sensor functions. A wide range of applications is also conceivable in conjunction with the overhead consoles. For example, vitality monitoring of the driver could be realized by integrating appropriate sensors.
In addition, the HELLA Slim Light System can be combined with Smart Lights. They can be integrated into the instrument panel, trim or doors and support communication between occupants and the vehicle. For example, a light bar can dynamically light up in turquoise when a phone call comes in. Alternatively, a light bar below the windshield or in the door moulding flashes in red if you are tailgating or there is an object in your blind spot.
"The interplay of lighting solutions and sensor technology brings more intelligence into the vehicle and, in turn, ensures greater comfort, well-being and safety," emphasizes Andres. "In the future, such use cases will be seen more and more frequently on the road." HELLA has now put a first such concept into series production for two vehicle models in the North American market. Based on three further large-volume customer orders from various German premium manufacturers, additional series launches will follow within the next one to three years.
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