LCD Headlights by Stuttgart University (Best of I-Zone at SID Display Week 2017 Winner)

Posted by juliusaugustus – August 23, 2017

Winner of the Prize for Best exhibitor at the I-Zone startups and New Tech Demos area at the SID Display Week 2017, Hella together with students from the Institute for Large Area Microelectronics at the University of Stuttgart demonstrate their project to Develop an Active Matrix LCD for Use in High Resolution Adaptive Headlights also presented in detail in this paper.

Conventional adaptive driving beam headlamps are limited in achieving still higher quantities of switchable pixels by the number of LEDs and movable elements needed. In this paper, it is shown that by integrating an active matrix liquid crystal display module, it is possible to realize fully adaptive high-resolution headlights without mechanical elements and a finite number of LED with 30 k switchable pixels.

As adaptive driving beam headlamps (ADBs) are now established and already available in mass-production vehicles, the market is requesting headlight systems with increasing resolution.

State of the art are LED matrix modules such as the HD84 from Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. that realize low beam, ADB, and additional functionalities by using 84 switchable LEDs. But the number of pixels that can be realized using this approach is limited by the number of LEDs that can be integrated in the tight installation space of a headlamp.

Higher resolution is needed to be able to implement new lighting functions to further improve traffic safety when driving at night or dusk. To realize a significant increase in traffic safety, the ADB must be able to simultaneously fade out several drivers of traffic oncoming of the vehicle to avoid glaring and to highlight important areas like road markings and traffic signs. To accomplish this, the headlamp must be able to divide the illuminated area in front of the vehicle into a grid of small areas with individually controlled light intensity. The higher the resolution of the grid, the better are the realizable lighting functions.

Filmed at the I-Zone startups and New Tech Demos area at the SID Display Week.