Ten years ago, simple LED headlights found their way into the luxury class of automobile production. Today, they have developed into AFS (Advanced Forward Lighting Systems). To place the required LED components with the highest accuracy, gluing is once again being used for precise fixing during the production process. This prevents an uncontrolled ‘washing in’ of the components during the reflow process, which would cause high spreading of the LED matrix in the headlight, leading to failures. Because of this production requirement the humble glue dispenser is experiencing a revival. As one of the market leaders, Essemtec AG is supplying both respected automobile industry subcontractors and LED headlights manufacturers such as Deltec, Osram, Zollner, ZKW and many other global manufacturers with their new high-performance jetters “Scorpion” and “Spider”.
What makes this AFS LED technology so attractive?
Source: Motor-Talk Opel Astra
Adaptive headlights mean anti-glare and camera observant headlights that react instantly, and support the driver with even more intelligent functions. For this, the integration of both micro and opto electronics is vital. The adaptive headlights, based on LED matrix light, offer the best driving light these days. A major motivation is driving safety; according a survey from the European commission the probability of serious car accidents is 60% higher at night. To decrease this alarming statistic car manufacturer want to produce cars with significantly more advanced headlights and lamps in all classes.
With LED technology, advanced forward lightning systems (AFS) are much easier to implement, because mechanical systems are no longer necessary to move either the headlight or any part of it. With LED technology an intelligent control system selectively switches single chips on and off.
For example: The control system uses sensors and electronic components to realise glare-free full beam by the flexible fading out of certain fields in the light cone of the headlight. This fading is dependent upon the driving situation, combined with dynamic adaption on the position of other motorists. Furthermore, adaptable curve and turn lights or spotlights, to illuminate possible obstacles, are easy to realise thanks to LEDs.
Direct comparison of AFS systems against conventional light bulbs, where a motor controls the alignment of the light beam, shows that the control of several LED emitters with pixel light is much more effective. Using the GPS integrated in the car, the emitter’s lights can be controlled to form a beam for a better curve illumination and to provide respective lifting or lowering of the lights in front of hills or hollows (picture 1). In combination with picture processing systems, traffic signs, pedestrians and other objects within sight of the driver can be better illuminated and, at the same time, the blinding of the oncoming traffic is reduced.
Picture 1: Lifting/lowering of the beam with a pixel headlight: left without AFS and right with AFS based on a pixel headlight. Source: all-electronics.de
Thanks to the high functionality, fast switching and better performance of pixel light it offers enormous potential to improve the safety on our streets in all kinds of driving conditions. Picture 2 shows how the field of the oncoming car can be omitted to reduce the glare.
Source: CES 2016 –Audi
The light beam of the headlights reacts quickly, and can be aligned or bent to the form best suited to enable the most accurate illumination. Furthermore, several blind fields can be integrated in the light beam as and when required. It is now possible to achieve this without motors, their driver ICs or similar devices. The electronics required for these headlights are becoming less complex and the parts list is becoming shorter. These new LED technologies are reducing the system price and, in the near future, will enable manufacturers to equip even middle and low class vehicles with this technology.
The development of this technology is moving forward rapidly. The BMW 8 series currently boasts intelligent LED laser headlights. The following video describes this technology in more detail: