Opel develops intelligent, non-dazzle LED-based headlight

March 27, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Carmaker Opel has developed a headlight technology which significantly improves the safety during night trips: The new system intelligently adapts to changing lighting situations and avoids dazzling drivers in the oncoming traffic.

The system embraces a LED matrix and a front camera, located between windscreen and rear-view mirror. Unlike in today's headlights, the new Opel light matrix is normally operated at full power which is equivalent to the high-beam mode in standard lighting. However, the matrix light can switch one or several segments off, according to the respective traffic situation. The system thus can control the shape of the lighting figure in front of the vehicle: While the beam spares out the oncoming traffic and likewise any front vehicles, the intensity of the other beams can be maintained at high level. Thus, obstacles in the direction of the vehicle or at the roadside are always floodlighted. Each headlight unit integrates four elements which in turn contain four light sources each which can be controlled individually, resulting in 16 different combination and 256 levels. The transition between the levels is gradually and smooth, almost unperceivable by the driver. Since no mechanic parts are involved, the switching process is faster than it could be done manually, Opel claims.

One of the reasons for the fast reaction speed is that the system is based entirely on LEDs for the illumination. Thus, it does not only react quickly but it also is very energy-efficient. Compared to standard halogen headlamps, the LED matrix consumes only half the power. The system also is a intended to show the typical Opel L-shape when the headlight is combined with the daylight running light.

The new matrix concept will be rolled out gradually in all Opel products. With respect to the timeline, Opel remained vague: In "several years", it will be introduced, the company said.