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Home » New Technology » Optimum Light for Every Situation

Optimum Light for Every Situation

Optimum Light for Every Situation

The new Opel Insignia is the first mid class vehicle in the world to be available with an adaptive headlamp system. Adapting automatically to the respective road profile and the visibility conditions, thus providing a significant increase in active safety, thee adaptive headlamp system, called more appropriately as AFL (Adaptive Forward Lighting) system, was developed jointly by Hella and Opel. It is based on powerful bi-xenon headlamps and has nine different lighting functions: town light, pedestrian area light, country light, motorway light, adverse weather light, static cornering light, dynamic bend lighting and high beam, as well as a camera-based assistance function for automatic high beam switching. At speeds below 50 km/h, town light provides a wider light distribution at reduced range, helping drivers to see pedestrians on the edge of the road better.

The pedestrian area light, which is activated at speeds between 5 and 30km/h has been designed for zones where drivers must exercise extreme caution. The light cone of both headlamps is swiveled by eight degrees towards each side of the road, allowing even earlier detection of children at play. The country light illuminates the felt and right hand edges of the road more brightly and widely that the conventional low beam. It is activated at speeds between 50 and 100 km/h. Motorway light improves vision on highways and expressways: from 100km/h it illuminates the roadway significantly further ahead and focuses more on the left hand edge of the road. Light power increases from 35 to 38 Watts, contributing to the perceptible improvement in vision. The motorway light switches on automatically at speeds over 100 km/h when the curve radii measured by the steering angle sensor indicate that the road profile does not match that of a country road.

The adverse weather light is activated when the rain sensor detects precipitation or the windscreen wipers are on. The edges of the road are more strongly illuminated for better orientation to the guiding lines. The light cone is some what shorter on the left-hand side, at the same time its power is reduced from 35 to 32 Watts, thus moderating light reflection on the wet, reflective road surface. The light power of the right-hand headlamp is increased from 35 to 38 Watts to improve invisibility at the edge of the road. Static cornering light helps during maneuvers in dark access roads. At speeds of up to 40 km/h the light comes on when the indicator is actuated or the steering wheel turned through about 90 degrees to the right or left. The dynamic bend lighting ensures curves are illuminated better.Dependingon speed and steering angle, the movable Bi-Xenon headlamps swivel by up to 15 degrees into the curve, obstacles become more easily visible.

The high beam is designed to full light power and range. It provides optimum illumination of the full width of the road with a light power increased from 35 to 38 Watts. The high beam assistant automatically switches the high beam on for better illumination of the roadway, ensuring good visibility. As soon as the system's camera detects headlamps or combination rear lamps from other vehicles, it automatically switches back to low beam in order to prevent glare to other road users.

The AFL headlamps system of the new Opel insignia is based on Hella's VarioX module. A free-form cylinder is used in place of the low beam. There are several precisely calculated contours for the different light distribution patterns located on the outside surface of this cylinder. The control electronics receive information about road profile and visibility conditions from numberous vehicle sensors, including sensors measuring speed, yaw rate, steering angle and rain, as well as the camera belonging to the high beam assistant. The system's software then decides which lighting function is appropriate in the prevailing driving situation and sends a corresponding command to a setting motor. Thus rotates the required cylinder contour into the beam path within seconds, thus changing the light distribution. The module can swivel to realize the bend lighting function.

The headlamps of the new Opel Insignia guarantee an unmistakable look for this new mid-class vehicle. The combined position and daytime running lamp uses LED technology and is fitted around the outside edge of the headlamp like a controured eyebrow. The combination rear lamp. another joint development by Hella and Opel, picks up on the eyebrow design feature for the tail lamp, so that the Insignia can be clearly identified from behind as well.

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