Future Lighting Technology - Improved Safety Features versus Consumer Expectations 2009-01-0253
In the last decade Automotive Lighting has developed very rapidly. A lot of new technologies, and new Lighting Systems have been introduced. We are confronted with new light sources as well as new lighting functions. Both have been defined accurately within the existing regulations as addendum or new regulations. All these new features have been defined in order to improve safety when driving at night. The surveys conducted in the past have shown, that the consumer in general (both in NA and Europe) is quite satisfied with the light he has on his vehicle. The majority is also not informed very well about the different technologies available. On the other hand, the styling of a vehicle is playing an important role today including the headlamps and rear lamps. Aside the functional task of the lamps the appearance, the signature light and the kind of differentiator in comparison to other vehicles gets more and more important. The consumer likes or dislikes the styling and not necessarily the function and importance of the corresponding feature. The result is sometimes a combination of necessary lighting functionality and show effects. The paper reports on a survey recently conducted to identify the consumer needs, the degree of information the consumer has and - as a result - identifies the features and lighting devices, which should have a priority. Additionally, the features with mainly show effects and not contributing to safety will also be determined.