VW focuses on lighting of the future
Volkswagen has opened a new centre of lighting excellence at its Wolfsburg factory to develop safer lighting solutions for its new cars and for driverless cars of the future.
The 100-metre long tunnel can be configured to simulate different road conditions, and is reducing the development time for new headlight, tail light and interior lighting systems.
Lighting technology will become even more important in the future when there will be no eye contact between drivers in autonomous vehicles, said VW.
Early examples of this type of technology already appear in the VW Touareg, where an ‘Optical Lane Assist’ function delivers accurate information to drivers about the distance between the vehicle and lane markings. Importantly, this information is based on micro-pixel HD and LED headlights, which are significantly cheaper than the lasers currently used to deliver lane assist functions.
Tail lights to provide more information
The manufacturer is also working on ways for rear lights to provide more information to the vehicle and driver behind. This could, for example, signal the start of a traffic queue to vehicles behind via car-to-car communication.
VW engineers are even working on specialist lighting for slow-speed manoeuvres, such as parking, which would use light beams to project the vehicle’s path onto the road in order to alert passers-by to the parking process.