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New hi-tech headlamps to help prevent nighttime collisions

The system integrates with the camera sensor and GPS navigation as it displays real-time driving information

Seoul, South Korea—Hyundai Mobis has succeeded in developing next-generation headlamps that show road signs on the road ahead in real-time. The technology is expected to become the latest innovation that significantly reduces nighttime car accidents for both drivers and pedestrians.

HD Lighting System developed by Hyundai Mobis is a technology that visualizes road signs in text or shapes and projects on the road surface. For example, the lamp shows there is road construction ahead using relevant symbols to drivers, while projecting the crosswalk sign on the road surface with lamp lights to help pedestrians cross the road safely. 

While there are convenient safety technologies that inform users about driving information, such as GPS navigation and head-up display (HUD), HD Lighting System is seen as a technology that considers not only drivers, but also communication features with pedestrians.

HD Lighting System is comprised of HD micro LEDs that are light sources and a digital micro mirror device (DMD), a collection of tiny mirrors that together act as a reflector.

The key technologies at play are the technology that meticulously controls DMD and software logic that makes this work. Information obtained from the front sensor (camera) and GPS navigation can also be integrated to provide the driver with necessary information.

The HD Lighting System has about 25,000 micro LEDs with a width of 0.04 mm, even thinner than human hair. This is 250 times as many LEDs than those installed in LED headlamps (80-120 LEDs) currently being mass produced. This enables the lamp to control light more sensitively as it has a much higher number of LEDs. It helps the lamp to locate objects and pedestrians much more accurately.

DMD is a ultra-precise controller that reflects light using microscopic mirrors measuring just 0.01 mm. Lights emitted from densely-packed LEDs are reflected using 1.3 million digital mirrors to project desired shapes and symbols on the surface of the road. LEDs that is increased 10,000 times compared to the previous DMD can be controlled individually to project clear, precise information on the road regardless of road conditions.

One important feature of Hyundai Mobis’ HD Lighting System is that it reflects data fed by the camera sensor and GPS navigation in real-time. For example, when a vehicle approaches a construction zone, HD Lighting System displays “Under Construction” symbol that is 1.5 m big 15 m ahead of the driver and can also inform the driver of the speed limit.

The technology is specialized to increase visibility and prevent accidents at night. Therefore, the driver can easily recognize when the car will approach a speed bump and where highway entries and exits are while looking ahead. 

HD Lighting System can also proactively prevent pedestrian accidents. The camera sensor recognizes pedestrians while driving along a remote alley and shows a virtual crosswalk on the road when the car stops. This materializes so-called “communication lighting” technology that not only communicates with pedestrians with emergency lights or a horn, but also with headlamps.

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