LIPPSTADT, Germany, April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The night is dark and the parking lot is unlit. Where did I park the car? In the new BMW 7 Series, pressing a button on the key fob is all it takes to find your way.
A radiant carpet of light illuminates the ground under both sides of the car to guide the driver to it. The lamps that generate this effect were designed by lighting experts at HELLA and are the first of their kind.
Unlike earlier systems that were installed in an outside mirror or the underside of the driver's door, HELLA'S LED modules are mounted in the rocker panels behind the car's front wheels. The lights uniformly illuminate the ground for more than 12 feet on both sides of the vehicle.
Micro-optics specially designed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering are used to precisely direct the light to defined areas on the ground. The design of the lenses is unique, with each lens actually crafted from a number of micro lenses. Because a single lens generates a very weak strip of light due to its small size, combining a large number of these small projectors is used to create a brighter light pattern. This also proves helpful if dirt covers portions of the LED, because other lenses will be pointed at the area to be illuminated.
The light image has very high resolution to produce clear and distinct boundaries between individual arrays. To meet strict quality goals during automated production of the lenses, HELLA tests each light module. If performance is not 100 percent, the component is not delivered.
Illumination development engineers at HELLA also are looking at other innovative applications for the light carpet, including integrating it into the ambient interior lighting concept to produce matching colored lighting or attractive motifs.
Along with the light carpet, HELLA also developed the BMW 7 Series light guides used for ambient lighting and the rear-passenger interior-reading light, which uses LED technology to produce a flat light that provides a warm glow for the rear of the vehicle cabin.
HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., Lippstadt: HELLA is a global, family-owned company, listed on the stock exchange, with around 32,000 employees at over 100 locations in more than 35 countries. The HELLA Group develops and manufactures lighting and electronic components and systems for the automotive industry and also has one of the largest retail organizations for automotive parts, accessories, diagnostics, and services within Europe. Complete vehicle modules, air-conditioning systems, and vehicle electrical systems are also produced in joint venture companies. With more than 6,000 people working in research and development, HELLA is one of the most important innovation drivers on the market. In addition, with sales of approx. 5.8 billion euros in the fiscal year 2014/2015, the HELLA Group is one of the top 40 automotive parts suppliers in the world and one of the 100 largest German industrial companies.
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