CR4 - The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion ®


Light & Laser Blog Blog

Light & Laser Blog

The Laser & Light Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about optoelectronics, fiber optics, lasers, light sources, optics, imaging, electro-optics, and anything else related to the photonics industry. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Construction Kicks Off for LSST Camera   Next in Blog: The Key to Practical Optical Interconnects
Close
Close
Close
5 comments

Drive By (Optoelectronic) Light

Posted December 07, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Forget about those LED turn signals that were all the rage. The next big advance in automotive lighting will come from headlamps featuring adaptive LEDs and lasers. The headlights boast a reach twice that of conventional high beams, but the adaptive technology modifies the beam profile to avoid blinding other drivers. The application is just one of the bright spots expected to help boost the automotive optoelectronic market by a compound annual growth rate of 17.36% through 2019.


Editor's Note: This news brief was brought to you by the Light & Laser News eNewsletter. Subscribe today to have content like this delivered to your inbox.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Engineering Fields - Optical Engineering - Member Engineering Fields - Engineering Physics - Member Engineering Fields - Systems Engineering - Member

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Trantor
Posts: 5060
Good Answers: 604
#1

Re: Drive By (Optoelectronic) Light

12/07/2015 8:28 AM

I bought a new car recently and have decided I generally prefer the older style headlamps. The older illumination pattern works much better for me, where I live, than the illumination pattern of the headlights on my new car.

The new headlights are great for flat roads with low % road grades and gentle curves.

I live in the foothills of the mountains and do a lot of driving on 2-lane mountain roads. Most of these roads have sharp turns, including hairpin turns, and abrupt rises and dips. The new headlights don't have a wide enough vertical or lateral beam spread to allow me to clearly see the road ahead of me. The 'adaptive' feature does 'aim' the headlights in the direction I'm turning, but not enough. I use the high beams when I can, but of course I don't want to blind oncoming cars, and there is always a steady flow of oncoming cars. The risk of a un-illuminated deer or a stopped car in the road means I occassionally have to slow to a crawl.

__________________
Whiskey, women -- and astrophysics. Because sometimes a problem can't be solved with just whiskey and women.
Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5092
Good Answers: 484
#2

Re: Drive By (Optoelectronic) Light

12/07/2015 7:07 PM

A nice high tech solution.

Or you could just polarize the headlights vertically and the car windshields horizontally (low tech solution) to provide good illumination for the driver without blinding oncoming drivers. This solution was proposed a long time ago.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Rochester NY metro area
Posts: 198
Good Answers: 17
#3

Re: Drive By (Optoelectronic) Light

12/08/2015 5:40 AM

This kind of stuff always sounds great until it effs up. Then you're dealing with crap like your PC, except it's your car, you have to have it, and it costs a fortune to fix. I bought a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee in good shape. I needed it for a tow vehicle among other things. It's loaded up with a lot of extra crap I don't use or care about. One of the options it came with was self aiming headlights. I noticed that when I started the car in the dark, the headlights would raster up and down before locking in to their aim. After a while, the computer "recalibrated" things and the low beams gradually got aimed so low, they only lit about 25 feet out. The car was not driveable at night over 20 mph or so. Happened to be going in for state inspection around that time, and I told the mechanic to aim the headlights properly. He calls me back that morning, and tells me it will cost $800 to aim them. A couple of level sensors on the chassis had to be replaced. I said no. Got the car back and went online, and found there was at least a mechanical rough aiming adjustment. I set them on my garage door, but used ALL of the aiming adjustment up. One of the online posts from a guy said he did that, but the computer reset them low again. Mine hasn't done that yet but if it does I'm screwed.

I don't want all this crap on a car. I just want to to work, and not cost a fortune to fix. I can't wait for the self driving cars. They can't get my headlights right, and they're going to take over driving the car? I don't think so.

jhammond

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 5092
Good Answers: 484
#4
In reply to #3

Re: Drive By (Optoelectronic) Light

12/08/2015 6:31 AM

Amen. The more complicated a design is, the more likely it is to fail and the more it costs to fix. I like Rube Goldberg, but only in cartoons.

Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru
Hobbies - DIY Welding - Wannabeabettawelda

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 3971
Good Answers: 217
#5
In reply to #3

Re: Drive By (Optoelectronic) Light

12/10/2015 9:06 PM

I find these type of headlights to be annoying as an oncoming driver because everytime the vehicle hits a bump, the headlight aiming circuit causes them to bounce around worse than a motorcycle's headlight. I know it's a nit, but still annoying. The manufacturer's of these things need to put in a low-pass filter to dampen out the bouncing.

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 5 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Brave Sir Robin (1); jhammond (1); Rixter (2); Usbport (1)

Previous in Blog: Construction Kicks Off for LSST Camera   Next in Blog: The Key to Practical Optical Interconnects

Advertisement