How headlamps may illuminate the road is regulated differently from region to region. In the U.S., for example, the dipped beam of a vehicle may illuminate both lanes further into the distance, while in the European Union the focus is more on illuminating one’s own lane and minimizing glare for other road users. In order to ensure the specified light distribution in each case, different optical systems have to be developed and manufactured for vehicle headlamps depending on the area of application. Taking into account right-hand and left-hand traffic, up to 12 technically different headlamp types may therefore be required for a global vehicle model.
With Hella’s new “world headlamp”, which automotive supplier and lighting specialist Hella is launching on the market in summer 2020 for a global premium manufacturer, this variety of variants will no longer be needed. In this case, for example, the shape of the light beam is controlled exclusively by software control using one identical SSL 100 light module. The digital controller can activate each pixel individually and map the entire light distribution according to the respective regional regulations. For example, the identical headlamp provides optimum illumination of a roundabout in right-hand or left-hand traffic and prevents oncoming traffic from being dazzled.
As the company reports, it is working on the end-to-end digitalisation of the light and plans to use it to digitally cover the entire range of LED headlamps from 100 light pixels to high-resolution SSL HD technologies with tens of thousands of light pixels. With the SSL100 module, Hella has now completely implemented such an intelligent lighting control system for the first time for a globally positioned automobile manufacturer. Series production of the headlamp will start in mid-year at Hella’s Mexican plant in Irapuato; from the end of the year, the headlamp is also to be produced at Hella’s Chinese location in Jiaxing.