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Osram unveils Automotive lighting Tech at CES

Lasers and LEDs show the way forward for safer driving

Osram will be unveiling its latest innovations for cars at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, this week. 

These include using invisible light, LiDAR (light detection and ranging) systems, for semi-autonomous to fully autonomous driving capabilities, according to the company 

LiDAR systems generate laser pulses that hit objects and reflect light back onto a detector. The time of travel of the laser beam establishes the distance to the object. Osram's multi-channel laser light source enables vehicles to generate an accurate, three-dimensional image of their surroundings and use this information to initiate the appropriate driving manoeuvres. An accurate evaluation of the vehicle's surroundings is crucial for safe autonomous driving.

Headlights using laser technology are the next stage in automotive lighting, says Osram. Due to the high luminance of the laser, which is about five times higher than the best of other light sources available today, these headlights double the best high beam range previously available, from 300 to 600 meters (2,000 feet). Osram's energy-efficient laser lighting, which includes some of the smallest technology components available, found its way into serial car production with the BMW i8, the BMW 7 series and the Audi R8 und R8 LMX as boosters added to the high beam. This provides better visibility for the driver and thus greater road safety.

In addition to laser technology, advanced pixel headlights represent the future of automotive lighting. Together with partners, Osram developed a tiny LED matrix chip with more than 1,000 individually controllable pixels. A headlight comprising several such LED chips allows permanent driving with glare-free full beam. An onboard camera recognizes oncoming vehicle and pedestrian traffic, automatically dimming the high-resolution LED chips to ensure that the head areas of oncoming drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists are spared from the light beam. 

This provides the driver with the best possible light at night, with no adverse effects for other traffic users, says Osram.The company expects to bring this technology to the commercial market by 2020.

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