“The decisive factor is not the technology in the headlamp but the digital intelligence behind it,” was how Mercedes-Benz engineering chief Gunter Fischer explained the company’s new ‘Digital Light’ technology.
In a nutshell, it’s software controlled HD headlights with over 1 million micro-mirrors per light, each one of which can be adjusted for real-time brightness by a series of algorithems that receive detailed information from the vehicle’s multiple sensors.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the result is an intelligent headlight system providing high-resolution light distribution which adapts constantly to the surrounding conditions.
And the benefits are not just for Mercedes-Benz owners – the sensors (including radar and cameras) detect other road users and facilitate adjustment of the lights so the Benz driver maintains optimum vision while oncoming drivers are not dazzled by the brightness.
In the future, Mercedes anticipates the system being able to use the lights to communicate with other road users – for example projecting a ‘zebra’ crossing onto the road so pedestrians know where it is safe to cross, or, in hazardous conditions, projecting warnings and directional arrows onto the road.
Mercedes-Benz already has some prototype vehicles running the new digital light technology but no date has been set for market introduction.
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