Solid State Infrared Light Sources for Active Safety Applications 2009-01-0254
Safety and convenience features have been continuously added since the invention of an automobile. Technology of passive safety features like seat belts, collapsible steering column, side impact bars, etc. have reached a plateau paving the way for the introduction of active safety features like dynamic stability control, pre crash sensing, and advanced driver assistances systems. Many of these active safety features are enabled by the availability of inexpensive cameras and solid state infrared light sources. Advances in design, processing and packaging of III-V semiconductors, have turned near infrared LEDs and lasers into ideal light sources. They are mechanically robust, electrically very efficient, inexpensive, compact and generate high power DC to high frequency (several 10 MHz) light. In this paper we discuss the results of OSRAM’s high power 5W infrared LED and 6W infrared surface mount laser diodes for applications like 3D imaging via time of flight for back-up sensing and crash avoidance and an infrared high beam for improved night vision. These products are automotive released and operational in the presented applications, significantly improving the driver’s field of view at night and providing 3D information from the front and rear camera systems for collision warning.