- The technology
- first impression
- Small series is coming in 2018
J for decades, automotive lighting technology was dawning with little light. Xenon headlights brought a clear light, but it has only been a few years now that there has been major progress thanks to LED technology. Mercedes currently offers highly flexible LED modules with 84 individual light-emitting diodes per headlight in the new E-Class. This allows, for example, several individual objects to be masked out of the light beam or to illuminate others separately. The aim is to always achieve the best possible light distribution for the driver without dazzling others.
In cooperation with Osram, Hella and the Fraunhofer Institute, a completely new headlight with four LED chips and 8,192 individually was created controllable light points. This expands the dynamic light functions, the possibilities of precise lighting control and the precision of the lighting enormously.
Two million mirrors in real time
The logic of controlling these mirrors so quickly and precisely according to the specifications of a computer, which in turn relies on the information from numerous sensors and a stereo camera, that any conceivable light distribution in front of the car can be realized is another masterpiece of this lighting system. After all, over two million mirrors have to be moved in real time for both headlights in such a way that they bring the optimum light onto the road at all times and certainly do not dazzle anyone. This places high demands on the sensors and the evaluation of this information. Mercedes therefore also assigns the greatest importance to “digital intelligence” in the overall system.
First Impression of the Digital Light
During the first test drives through nocturnal fields, forests and suburbs of Stuttgart, the S-Class prepared by Automotive Lighting showed what this lighting system is all about. Without the driver's intervention, the light in front of the Mercedes changes in fractions of a second if necessary, but mostly very softly with no hard transitions. Cars in front are shaded, an oncoming VW bus is in theThe area of his windshield is left out of the cone of light, a black-clad pedestrian on the roadside is illuminated so precisely that his head remains in the shadow, highly reflective signs only receive so much weak light that they are easily recognizable, but certainly not dazzling, and when the road is clear straight country road, the headlights spread a very even, white and loosely 300-meter-wide light carpet in front of the Mercedes.
Digital Light comes into series production at Mercedes in 2018
With the Digital Light it is also clear that Mercedes does not rely on laser light like Audi and BMW, but rather the future in highly flexible, intelligently controlled HD -Beamer sees light. But only prototypes are still on the way, the approval marathon by the authorities of the world is still ahead. Nevertheless, Mercedes will initially offer fleet customers the Digital Light in the first half of 2018 and send the first customers to the streets with it. First of all, the high-tech light will be offered in the Maybach S-Class. At the start of the small series, six symbols are available: slippery road warning symbol, roadworks warning symbol, lane departure warning symbol, blind spot warning symbol, speed warning symbol. The Digital Light will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.