An team from LichtLAB at the Automotive Research Centre Niedersachsen (NFF) in Wolfsburg has partnered with Volkswagen Group Research and the Technical University Braunschweig to develop innovative light systems for the future. The objective is to integrate new light technologies into active headlight systems to provide the driver with the best possible vision to increase safety.
In the LichtLAB, Volkswagen Group Research staff members work with the Development departments from the Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda brands as well as scientists from the Institute of Computer Graphics at the TU Braunschweig. Determining the psychological effect of light on the driver is part of the basic research. This knowledge is incorporated in the development of a simulation tool for virtual night driving, which is able to portray how oncoming traffic is blinded by headlights. New light functions are then implemented in test vehicles for the road tests.
The technology known as "headlight range control" in the new Audi A8 as well as the "dynamic light assist", which has been introduced in the Volkswagen Touareg, originated in Volkswagen Group Research. The "dynamic light assist" is a dynamic main beam control system. It makes it possible to drive with the main beam on without blinding oncoming traffic or drivers ahead of you. A camera on the interior mirror detects the position of the other road users; the masking function in each headlight is then separately activated electronically and the headlight main beams are slightly dimmed for the relevant area. As a result, the road illumination is improved. The "dynamic light assist" provides the means for a completely new feel for light, always optimized to the traffic situation.
Audi offers the "headlight range control" as intelligent light technology in the new A8. A video camera on the interior mirror recognizes oncoming traffic and vehicles ahead of you by their lighting and adjusts its own distributed cone of light accordingly. The result is a smooth transition that always allows as much illumination as possible.