Whether a vehicle operates autonomously or is driven by a human, the road ahead must be clearly visible to the system and/or human eye. For the most part, traditional headlight systems have worked well depending on the driver’s attentiveness to the road and it’s normal and unexpected events. But with the escalating number of distractions, both on the road and within the vehicle, man or machine needs a clearer picture of what’s in front, behind, and all around the vehicle in any lighting condition. In other words, the vehicle and the driver need to own the road.
Texas Instruments (TI) is one of the leaders in contemporary automotive applications, particularly in the safety arena. The company’s high-resolution DLP technology looks promising in terms of new capabilities for headlight systems. Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology is essentially derived from video projectors, a manner of efficiently focusing light for image projection. TI however, is using that venerable technology to both improve and reportedly revolutionize automotive headlight systems.
At CES 2018, TI launched its state-of-the-art DLP technology for high-resolution headlight systems in the form of a chipset that the company claims is the only such set of devices offering full programmability and the industry’s highest resolution. The chipset can deliver more than one million addressable pixels per headlight. This level of resolution is considered to surpass that of existing adaptive driving beam (ADB) technologies by more than 10,000 times.
With the DLP chipset, designers can create headlight systems that deliver maximum brightness for drivers while minimizing glare to oncoming traffic or reflections from traffic signs. Compatible with all established light sources as well as LEDs and laser types, the chipset ensures precise light control while allowing for flexible light-beam customization. It also allows automakers to create headlight systems that pair with programmable software and smaller optics to increase performance without sacrificing style. System engineers also have the capability to partially or fully dim individual pixels.
Other features include the ability to use the headlight system to project graphical information on the road, extending communication between other drivers and pedestrians. Obviously, this reflects on DLP’s roots with traditional projection technology.
The DLP5531-Q1chipset is sampling now to lead customers and will be more widely available in the second half of 2018. For now, if you are craving for more details, here are some highly informative resources.
- TI DLP technology
- Enabling the Next Generation of Automotive Head-Up Display Systems
- DLP Technology: Solving design challenges in next generation of automotive head-up display
- Body electronics and lighting
To learn even more illuminating tidbits, pay a visit to Texas Instruments.