Dazzlers Not Welcome

Modern headlamp systems reduce irritating reflections – IAV uses its own tool chain

Vehicles blind each other, particularly at night on wet roads. New, highresolution headlamp systems permit precision light control and can drastically reduce irritating reflections for oncoming traffic. In its development work, IAV uses its own tool chain that follows the trend towards processes using virtually not prototypes.

The road is wet and the windshield full of rain drops. An oncoming vehicle can then soon become a problem for the driver. He or she is dazzled, can lose orientation and, worst of all, even cause an accident. Modern headlamp systems provide the answer. “They come with up to three million pixels, making it possible to control the beam of light with extreme precision”, explains Sven Bogdanow, head of the Light and Vision department at IAV. “This means we can guarantee the best possible view of the road without blinding oncoming traffic.”

Reducing light intensity to suit any situation

To develop modern headlamp systems of this type, IAV uses a chain of three internally developed tools. The first one is a tool that can generate a parametric model for designing the headlamp. “Proceeding from the position and height of headlamps, it computes the glare points for an oncoming vehicle”, Bogdanow reports. “With its help, we know where we need to reduce light intensity.”

A development environment (Computer-Aided Glare Evaluation) provides the basis for virtual validation in the early concept phase and while the first prototypes are being developed. It computes potential glare from specifications, such as the dimensions of the headlamp system, road width and condition (wet or dry), distance between vehicles and driver sight line. These data deliver the input for IAV’s third tool that is used for developing masking strategies. “We can choose from a whole variety of beam masking options, such as trapezoidal, rectangular or triangular geometries”, Bogdanow explains. “This information helps our algorithm developers to find the optimum parameters for controlling the headlamp system to suit any ambient situation.”

Used with success in productionready development projects

This development environment also features later on in the development process when it is used for validating real-world measurement results – gathered, for instance, at IAV’s indoor lighting and driver assist test facility in Chemnitz which can artificially create virtually any scenario from dazzling sunshine to moonless night and test lighting sys
tems on a reproducible basis. “We have been using the three tools developed inhouse with huge success for two years in development projects for volume production”, Bogdanow says, summing up. “With these tools, we have significantly reduced the number of test drives, taking us closer to the current trend towards prototype-free development.”