Mercedes Benz reveals new generation Multibeam LED technology

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

The high-resolution precision LED modules, each with 24 individually controlled high-performance LEDs, will automatically illuminate the road with precision-controlled distribution of bright light – without dazzling other road users. A camera positioned behind the windscreen delivers the information with which four control units manage the ideal light pattern at 100 times per second.

In 2010, the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class claimed to be the first production automobile to feature dynamic all-LED high-performance headlamps complete with adaptive light functions.

The MULTIBEAM LED headlamps claims to make use of the many advantages of LED technology and combines them with state-of-the-art lighting and control technologies to offer the driver more benefits in daily driving than other headlamp systems.

MULTIBEAM LED headlamps expand the Intelligent Light System’s previous functionality (Adaptive Highbeam Assist, country mode, motorway mode, fog lamps, active light function, cornering light function, LED daytime driving lamps) with a number innovative lighting features such as dazzle-free high-resolution high beams which react faster and more precisely.  The innovative headlamps also feature an anticipatory camera-based active light function as well as a navigation-based roundabout light function.

"The first LED headlamps with all the adaptive functions of the Intelligent Light System have been available to our customers since 2010 in the CLS," explained Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "With MULTIBEAM LED technology the headlamps now are able to react even more quickly, more precisely and individually to changing traffic conditions. On top of this, there are expanded functions of which a driver will become directly aware, such as anticipatory camera-based curve recognition with the active light function. With such features Mercedes-Benz once again is demonstrating its role as an innovation leader in the automobile industry."

The headlamps of the new generation of the CLS are all-LED headlamps and combine the merits of state-of-the-art lighting technologies to form the MULTIBEAM LED technology. They LED headlamps claim to be able to automatically and optimally adjust the light distribution more precisely than ever before to virtually any road and traffic conditions, always ensuring extensive and bright illumination of the road and its edges without dazzling other drivers.

The dazzle-free main beam uses an advanced camera-based Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus system from the Mercedes S-, E- and C-Class models. By using the camera positioned behind the front windscreen it detects oncoming traffic or vehicles in front, and mechanically masks them out in the light cone of the main beam so that the drivers are not dazzled. Consequently, the high-beam headlamps can be left on at all times, to use their full range without irritating or even endangering other road users.

The new MULTIBEAM LED headlamps use a fast responding high-resolution precision LED light module as a light source, which features 24 individual high-performance LED chips. Each can be controlled electronically and independently of the others to allow the light distribution from the right and left headlamps to be controlled separately and adapted highly dynamically to the traffic conditions with a high level of precision. This makes it illuminate individual areas of the road in a targeted fashion. Combining the light source with the proven mechanical LED technology, means the headlamp control
technology not only increases the precision of today’s light sources and sets a gap with a minimal width for the main beam, but it also generates a new dimension in light output in partial high-beam operation. Compared with the systems on the market today, the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps have up to 2.5 times the partial high-beam light output. The increase is provided by control electronics in conjunction with the new matrix light source of the precision LED module.

A camera on the windscreen supplies the system with the information it needs about the constantly changing traffic situation and is also used by other assistance functions. Four control units per vehicle calculate the ideal light pattern 100 times per second and activate all 24 high-performance LEDs in lamp module individually.

The additional light output of the technology in the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps is not only used to increase the performance in partial high-beam operation, but also for high-beam operation. Even though the latter is activated less due to traffic density, the range of the high beams was increased by about 20% to about 485 m.

In addition to the powerful high-resolution precision main-beam module, each MULTIBEAM LED headlamp contains a further module for the low-beam headlamp which is equipped with four LEDs. The module can be swivelled outward additionally by as much as twelve degrees to provide an anticipatory camera-based active light function. Camera-based, the module swivels toward the bend before the driver has even turned the wheel to provide optimum illumination of the bend early on. According to the situation it also swivels back to the straight-ahead position before the bend ends which allows the driver to identify dangers earlier when entering and exiting bends. The anticipatory control allows an additional range of between 30 and 60 m depending on the traffic situation.

The novel light function for roundabouts is navigation-based and activates the cornering light function to the left and right before entering the roundabout to ensure maximum visibility at an early stage.

The light from the bright LED headlamps is closer to daylight and therefore perfectly attuned to the human eye. Studies have shown that the closer the color of artificial light is to daylight, the less the strain on the eyes.

With a color temperature of 5500 kelvin, LED light is closer to daylight (6500 K) than xenon light (4200 K). The powerful single-chip LED diodes of the MULTIBEAM  LED headlamps and their high lumen/watt output also contribute increased efficiency and with an average useful life of about 10,000 hours will also last five times longer than a xenon lamp.

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