Intelligent lights may help poor night visibility

1455788596933_rn03-2016-IZM-Bettervisibilitywhendrivingatnight2Most of accidents occur at dusk or at night due to poor visibility. To counteract the problem, intelligent headlights adapt to the current traffic situation.

Fraunhofer researchers developed a high-resolution illumination system with more than 1,000 LED pixels with industry partners Infineon, Osram, Hella and Daimler. The light offers precise light distribution that is energy-efficient which automatically adjust the light distribution to the traffic situation. They illuminate specific areas in a targeted fashion, they do not blind other road users.

The lights follow the course of the road. Only the pixels which are needed at the moment are turned on. This is usually only around 30 percent of the total available light output of the entire system, so it is very energy-efficient, since light is generated on the light source only where it is needed in the traffic area.

In order to be able to control each point of light independently a gold nano-sponge establishes the contact between each individual pixels and the driver chip. The nanoporous gold structure compresses like a real sponge and can be precisely adapted to the topography of the component.

In another version being tested, the light source is a laser light or an LCD display with LED lighting, which fades areas of the light distribution according to the situation. Since light is produced and reabsorbed, this solution is not very energy efficient.