The Impact of Automotive Design in the Performance of Exterior Vehicle Lighting 2006-01-2879
Throughout the entire automotive industry, the lighting system has always had a very important role to play during its history. In the past 50 years, vehicular lighting has achieved an important status due to its close relationship with enhancing passenger and vehicle security. Naturally, this interwoven scenario affects the Design Studio and how the best technical solution can be aptly translated into the vehicle's “eyes”, while maintaining both the brand identity and DNA. This is the basis of a singular discussion on the true importance of these vehicular attributes, since the design studio clearly “sees” lighting as an opportunity to enhance and differentiate brands and series, at times impacting on performance.
Vehicular lighting systems have had, during the past 50 years, several technological advances, such as double beam systems, one for low and one for high beam displacements in the 1950s and the introduction of xenon headlights in the 1970s (Ref. 1). In the late 1990s, the use of infrared technology, along with state-of-the-art reflectors, has allowed the driver to “see” more than he ever could before (Fig.1, Ref. 1). This, among other examples, clearly displays that the constant technological evolution brings forth a serious debate to be had between Vehicle Engineering, Body Engineering and Design Studio in order to best evaluate performance, appearance and cost attributes for any given product.