Take A Trip On The Light Fantastic

Thu 18th Oct 2018

Volkswagen have developed a range of futuristic car headlights which include technology which will project parking bay lines onto the road.

Under a project labelled ‘The evolution of light’, the German company have devised a range of ways that lights on a car can be used as a method of communication, an advancement on the traditional indicator lights which have served cars well for decades.

“The lighting of the future will become a means of communication,” said Volkswagen’s designer-in-chief, Klaus Bischoff.

“It will interact with the driver and with other road users—whether in a car, on a motorcycle or bicycle or as a pedestrian on the road—measurably improving safety. At the same time, we will integrate the lighting functions into the design of the vehicles more progressively than ever before.”

Volkswagen opened its own ‘lighting competence centre’ at their Wolfsburg plant in 2014, testing the lighting systems of the future in a 100-metre long, 15-metre wide tunnel.

Some of the technology developed in this area of technological advancement include:

Sign glare control: A camera detects a traffic sign or a warning sign and the IQ.Light LED matrix headlamps dim in milliseconds so that these signs no longer reflect so intensively, impairing the driver’s vision. This is particularly important for large-format directional signs at freeway interchanges

Optical Lean Assistant: The light projects the lane width onto the road, for example on roads narrowed by roadworks. This enhances safety, particularly at night

Dynamic Light Assistant: This feature, which already comes in many vehicle series, allows the driver to drive in high beam mode at all times. If another vehicle or other road user approaches, the headlamps are dimmed automatically in a question of milliseconds. This technology was introduced in the Touareg back in 2010 and is now also available in the Passat and Golf

Infrared: The integrated night camera on board detects a person or animal at the edge of the road further along and immediately turns on individual headlamps of the IQ.LED matrix headlamp that illuminate the person’s or animal’s exact position on the road. The driver sees what is ahead very clearly

LED matrix lamps: In the future, they could, among other things, display warning notices in the tail lamps so as to defuse dangerous situations such as the end of a tailback via car-to-car communication, for example

Optical Park Assist: New assistance functions such as “Optical Park Assist”, which works with microlenses, will make maneuvering in narrow parking spaces and parking garages easier and safer