Volkswagen develop interactive headlight and taillights
Volkswagen engineers and designers have created new interactive headlight and taillight clusters, which they hope will improve road safety for both pedestrians and other road users.
The new lighting systems will include micro-pixel HD headlights with up to 30,000 light points and high-performance LED headlights and will be a cheaper alternative to the laser lights used by manufacturers such as Audi.
With autonomous cars getting closer to production, Volkswagen’s engineers have had to deal with future issues that will confront everyday road users – such as a lack of eye contact with drivers.
The engineers have developed new safety assist features including Optical Lane Assist which sees the headlights project virtual lanes down onto the road in front of the vehicle, giving the driver precise information about the width of the car and the distance to the road lane markings, for example at road works.
In addition, VW's new interactive taillight clusters use matrix tail light technology to alert drivers to possible dangerous situations, such as when the car is approaching a queue of traffic, by using car-to-car communication.
Another new safety assist feature is Optical Park Assist which is aimed at pedestrian safety. Optical Park Assist, uses micro lenses in the headlights to project the car's path onto the ground while parking - alerting unaware pedestrians of the vehicle's potential movements.
Volkswagen has developed its new lighting tech using its own 100-metre long in house light tunnel at its Wolfsburg plant. In the light tunnel, Volkswagen can use road simulations to test the lighting systems of its vehicles by replicating night driving conditions, which has reduced the development time for new headlight, taillight and interior lighting. The reduced development time should mean that new safety features can be put onto VW production vehicles more quickly.
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