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Shows and Congresses
Tuesday, 15 October 2019

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ISAL 2019 Takeaways

Here are ten key points we retain from the two days of lectures, panel discussions, keynote speeches, and poster presentations:

  • Technical constraints that confined to high/low beam systems have been removed by ADB, which is expanding into high-volume, popular-price models. The high/low-beam binary which has never been good enough for the job is obsolete; how long it takes to die out remains to be seen.
  • Recent ISALs had a strong focus on ADB, mostly looking at systems and ideas for 8, 16, and 32 segments. This year was different: still a predominant focus on ADB, but on high-resolution systems, no longer with a few segments.
  • Road image projections for new kinds of turn signal and reversing lamp repeaters, vehicle-width guidance through lanes narrowed by construction, and other such driver-aid functions are under very active development.
  • Visual communication using front and rear lights to help pedestrians and other drivers is another area of strong developmental interest.
  • Displays for V2X communication and brand communication are arriving.
  • Monolitic SSL, µLED will be more and more used to make ADB, road projections and visual communications.

  • Regulations must be modernised to be technology-neutral for robust resistance to obsolescence and must be harmonised for worldwide standardisation. Testing methods, too, must keep up with new technology so as to assure the measurements are in accord with the actual, effective performance.
  • Laser and OLED are rapidly being developed and commercialised in ways that overcome technical and technological challenges reported as recently as last year.
  • Integration of sensors as camera and lidarw will be used in the future.
The convergence of ADAS, AD, and lighting systems carries on at an accelerating pace.
  • Software will become more and more important in lighting with a change of value chain.
2019 IAA Frankfurt motor show
Monday, 16 September 2019

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At the 68th IAA Frankfurt motor show, held from 12 to 22 September, the VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry) have given the event a new look and feel. VDA President Bernhard Mattes likens the show's transformation to that of the auto industry itself: «Automotive companies will meet new digital players. The IAA is becoming more interactive, more connected, and more digital. Trends and topics will be presented and discussed by representatives from many sectors.»
Though a surprising list of marques were absent from the show, IAA still sparkles with interesting cars and technologies.

Here are our Seven main takeaways from Frankfurt :

  • IAA is changing :

From an exhibition to a broader-based, more interactive platform with auto manufacturers, tech companies, suppliers, mobility service providers, and startups.

  • Many automakers skipped the event :

Including Alfa Romeo, Citroën, and DS, Ferrari, Fiat, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota(!), and Peugeot.

  • Big focus on clean-car technology :

Clean-running engines, electrics, and hybrids. Most of the promotion and communication is focused on EVs. Automakers are facing tighter emissions regulations in Europe, and will have to pay huge penalties for violating the 95 g/km CO2 limit starting next year.

  • German and Chinese automakers are on top of their game :

More than half of the enormous show space is dedicated to German companies like the VW Group, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. These companies also had the biggest presentations of high technology. And a notable 10% of exhibitors are Chinese—mainly with new EVs.

  • No communication on lighting :

This time around, nobody wants to talk up the technology or performance of their lighting systems! Audi present their matrix lights in a showcase, but other than that, there seems to be no effort to give ADB the marketing and education push it deserves.

  • Dot-lighting for concepts; module-lighting for production cars :

We're seeing more and more lighting modules in production cars—not surprising, since modularisation is a cost-effective strategy—but fewer modules in concept cars where modules used to predominate. Now, most concept cars have dotty LED arrays, perhaps as a placeholder to telegraph «Coming soon: this car will have LEDs!».

  • Interior lighting's day is here :

As interior lighting innovations are presented mainly in concept cars. Here again, German brands like Mercedes and BMW are assertively pushing ahead on this front, though they're certainly not alone.

2019 Shanghai International Motor Show
Monday, 06 May 2019

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The Shanghai Motor Show is traditionally reflecting the Chinese automotive market.
The past booming market having evolved in few decades from around half a million cars per year to 28,2 million in 2017, the Shanghai motor show was so these past years the meeting place with the most abundant number of models and brands.

This year, the question mark was to know if this affluence would be maintained despite some adverse winds. Indeed, in 2018, the market slowed down by 3,7% to 27,5 million.
And the first months of 2019 was even worse with -16,3% year-to-date sales in January and February. Nevertheless, many are hoping a rebound, first as March showed the smallest decrease year-on-year in over seven months, at 5.2%, and as a timely reduction in sales tax ordered by the Chinese central government will be effective from the beginning of April.
But despite or thanks to all these elements, the 2019 Shanghai motor show was still very active with a huge number of premieres and a strong trend towards environmentally sensitive cars. Every key Chinese car maker, including the five state-owned heavyweights SAIC, FAW, BAIC, Dongfeng and Changan, but also private rivals headed by the likes of Geely, GAC, Great Wall Motors and BYD, all presented new or improved production models this year.
This 2019 motor show was also especially significant with a strong increase of Chinese models prepared for European launches and models from non-Chinese global manufacturers specifically prepared for the Chinese market.
The environment issues are becoming crucial in China and so the zero emission solutions are playing a big part in the attraction of new cars for Chinese buyers. New names are supporting being laid on thick by the likes of Nio, XPeng, Weltmeister, Singulato, Byton, Aiways, Bordrin Motor and Leap Motors, along with many other newly-created electric vehicle start-ups, several of which are based in and around the sprawling metropolis of Shanghai itself.

Here are the 4 main trends we retain from the Shanghai 2019 Autoshow:

The trend for electrification was already seen in the previous motor shows, but never at this level.
Every car maker presented several electric versions of their cars. On some booths, the number of electric versions presented were higher of the number of petrol versions, and sometimes, only electric versions were presented. This is particularly true in China as many new companies are created to develop electric cars only, this movement in China being reinforced by the industrial policy of the government and by the possibility to find there all the basic components for this new power architecture authorizing a relatively low entry ticket.
All the types of electric vehicles were presented: Hybrid with a trend to use more and more plug-in versions, pure electric with battery with a range of at least 300km and more often 400km, electric with range extension with a small petrol engine, and finally electric with hydrogen. This last type seen by some people as the real future was not only presented by the initial creators as Toyota, Honda or Hyundai, but also by at least 3 Chinese car makers showing their quick evolution towards high technology.

SUV mode
SUV have a good success everywhere, but perhaps even more in China. In the Shanghai autoshow, we have seen a lot of SUV, and many of them being relatively big. Some car makers in China are producing only SUV, and now more and more electric SUV.
For these cars as for many other cars, the front grille is relatively high, vertical and massive to give a perception of strength.

Lighting style diversification
Between the hundreds of models presented, the variety of style was particularly impressive.
If we should try to give some main trends for style seen in this "autoshow", we could say:
- Thinner headlamps and rearlamps allowed now by the small LED modules
- Composed front panels with often positioning of one lighting element on the upper part and the other more in the center of the face.
- Large lighting devices with an applique joining the two main lighting functions from one side to the other, very often for the rear and now more progressively appearing in the front.

LEDs generalization
Never we have seen so few halogen headlamps, particularly for Chinese models. For sure in a motor show, mainly the high-end versions are presented, and for some Chinese cars it is not obvious to determine surely that a LED source is used behind a lens module. But each time we check more precisely thanks to the color of the light, the detailed explanation in the booklet, the size of the modules and so on, LEDs were present. More than in some other countries, in China as in Japan or Korea, the color of the light as well as the design are important factors of modernity.

2019 Geneva Motor Show
Monday, 18 March 2019

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The Geneva International Motor Show, unlike the big auto shows in Detroit and Los Angeles two months ago, had a great many concept cars on display. On top of that, the pre-production prototypes and newly-unveiled production cars are themselves dream cars, bristling with levels of technology and capability well outside yesterday's bounds of practicability. This year's show was set in motion by the Car of the Year award, won by the Jaguar I-Pace.

Overall, we retain six salient points from the show:

  • Electrification is really gaining traction. Many electric cars and production-plausible EV studies.
  • he world of hypercars now includes newcomers from China and Russia.
  • Use of lighting for brand and model-range identity is going from strong to stronger.
  • Front and rear lamps are growing thinner and thinner and thinner.
  • There is no end in sight to the innovation in lights all over the car.

2019 LA & CES Lighting and ADAS report
Tuesday, 29 January 2019

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The Los Angeles auto show is the North American hot spot for newly-released and forthcoming production cars as well as production-plausible concepts; CES in Las Vegas caters for the farther-out ideas, the reimagining of traffic and transport up and down the scale from micro to macro. Taken together, the two shows provide an almost seamless, comprehensive look at the current, foreseeable, and imaginable state of the art in vision systems for drivers—human and vehicular alike.

It was especially interesting to see these two shows almost back-to-back. Their nominal focus is not identical, of course; LA is first and foremost an auto show, whilst CES is a technology show. But there's a whole lot of overlap: the LA show had tremendous deliberate and incidental emphasis on technology, because today's cars contain an unprecedented amount of it, and CES had a great deal of deliberate and incidental emphasis on personal transport. What are the main takeaways we retain?

  • Although terms like "personal transport" are burgeoning, with intent to include modes and methods not presently common, clearly automotive vehicles recogniseable as such will carry on dominating for quite awhile.
  • The question of whether tomorrow's cars will need or have lights appears to have been answered with a resounding "Yes".
  • We have passed the tipping point; LEDs really have to be considered the standard technology for making light on cars.
  • Machine-vision and human-vision systems are merging on a physical, practical level; there's keen interest and a great deal of innovation going into integration of sensors and cameras and suchlike in front and rear lights.
  • In today's lights, design and style are being leveraged like never before for brand identity and cohesion and to advertise the whole vehicle's level of technology.
  • Even at the giant Los Angeles show, concept cars as we have known them in the past seem to be on the decline.
2018 SIA Vision Congress
Tuesday, 04 December 2018

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VISION congress was been held on 9-10 October in Paris, Cité des Sciences and in Mortefontaine for the night drives.

Highlights of VISION 2018:

1) More than 600 attendees from 125 worldwide companies

2) the three best lectures :

  • An OLED Tailight Revolution from Michael Kruppa, head of tail light development at Audi.
  • Full LED Headlamp gen3,from Paul-Henri Matha, now at Volvo Motors
  • Active Moisture removal from Hassan Koulouh and Ulrike Geissler
and the two other AL's Ernt-Olaf Rosenhahn, and Lumileds's Helmut Tiesler-Wittig.

3) Wonderful expo booths of big, small, and startup companies in optics, electronics, and simulations. 
The 26 exhibitors focussed on improved safety now available in passenger cars thanks to digital lighting, and on improved comfort brought by ADAS.

4) Night demo drives with 31 cars showing the latest technologies in Lighting and in ADAS.

5) The panel discussion with great minds in lighting and ADAS. What a great moment, with passionate discussion about ways of combining lighting and ADAS. The main conclusion: lighting needs ADAS to lead the intelligent lighting, and ADAS needs lighting to aid visibility of sensors and integrate cameras and lidars inside the headlamp. I thank again all the people who helped to make such a grand success of this [email protected]

2018 Paris International Motor Show
Tuesday, 06 November 2018

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The 132nd DVN Report is a close, focused look at the new and notable lights on the vehicles at the 2018 Paris auto show. It's got more than 150 clear, colourful, sharp images.
Here are the six main takeaway points we retain from our DVN walk of the show:

1) More and more light module variety: squares, ovals, vertical and horizontal rectangles; and a wide range of sizes

BMW 3 Series

Lexus RC

2) Use of front (especially DRLs) and rear (especially tail) lights for visual signature

BMW 8 Series

Peugeot E-Legend

3) Slimmer headlamps and rear lamps; rear lamps are also wider

Audi e-Tron

Mercedes EQ SilverArrow

4) Makers battling for added value and new customer experience

5) More animated signal lights for style, safety, and communication

6) High level of interest, even despite several automakers' absence


2018 DVN Tokyo Workshop
Sunday, 24 June 2018

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This report summarises the proceedings of the 2018 DVN Tokyo Workshop. It is not a substitute for having attended the event, but it conveys the main points of each lecture and describes the highlights of the expo booths. All in all, there were 21 lectures, a grand keynote address, and a panel discussion. The three most important points developed by all the speakers:
1. Lighting has a great future, helped—and not doomed—by the arrival of autonomous vehicles.
2. ADB is the primary main solution to improve safety by night, but we need to improve the performance; reduce system cost, weight, and volume, and get all the world's regulators onside.
3. The next big challenge is V2X communication by light. We have to work together and be involved to achieve proposals able to win technical, cultural, and regulatory support worldwide.

Highlights of this report include accounts of the presentations by Honda's Ryou Chijimatsu and Nissan's Hitoshi Nakagaki, who presented their vision of the lighting future in context of Japanese lighting culture; comments by Wolfgang Huhn on the possibility that last Spring's Uber pedestrian fatality could have been avoided with ADB, and lectures by Renault's Paul-Henri Matha and PSA's Whilk Gonçalves emphasising the importance of lighting to be seen.

Lighting suppliers described the status of their ADB and V2X research and development, and light source makers presented their great progress in LEDs and lasers.

There's coverage of the regulation session with two great lectures by Peter Bodrogi (about the lighting needs of ageing drivers) and Michel Locuffier (about how UN vehicle regulations must be developed in the 1998 Agreement).

Tier 2 suppliers presented their innovations and outlooks.

Where authorised by the speakers and their companies, links are provided to the lecture slides. Links are also provided to short video interviews with some of the speakers and exhibitors.

2018 Geneva International Motor Show

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

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Unlike the last big auto show NAIAS two months ago, in Geneva there were many concept cars. On top of that, the pre-production prototypes and newly-unveiled production cars are themselves dream cars, bristling with levels of technology and capability well outside yesterday's bounds of practicability. Another trend on the obvious increase is the use of lighting for brand and model-range identity advertisement.

This DVN's 126th report, is a close and focused look at the new and notable
lights on the vehicles at the 2018 Geneva motor show, to the near-total exclusion of other parts and views of the vehicle. Every model covered here can readily be viewed in its entirety elsewhere, but this is the only comprehensive report on the lights. This year we present an unprecedented more than 200 clear, colourful, sharp images at the perfect size whether you're viewing on a computer screen, a tablet, or you choose to print it out and carry it with you. Where warranted, we provide ultiple views of the same lamp from different angles, annotated and described with text.

Chapters are arranged by automakers; all of an automaker's marques are grouped together. Once again an enormous success for this 88th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show, with more than 660,000 entries registered. This year's show was set in motion by the Car of the Year award, won by the Volvo XC40, then the presentation of 150 new models and concept cars to a gathering of more than 10,000 media representatives from all over the world during the two press days. Visitors had the pleasure of viewing more than 900 exciting vehicles on display within the framework of what has become the largest event in Switzerland.

Rarely have so many car makers showed so many new electric cars and production-plausible EV studies as we saw this year at Geneva. EV range—distance that can be travelled on a charge—is growing high enough for buyers to stop worrying about it.

2018 DVN Munich Workshop
Tuesday, 27 February 2018

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The DVN Munich Workshop was equal parts symposium and celebration, the occasion being the 10th anniversary of Driving Vision News. More than 330 attendees—a full-capacity crowd—were present at this, the 16th DVN Workshop, including 18 car makers, 23 set makers, and 66 Tier-2s. All in all, over 100 companies, universities, and organisations were represented. And there was a high diversity of speakers from China, Germany, Japan, France, Korea, the Netherlands, America, Czechia, and Spain. There were 24 exhibition booths where companies from all over the world displayed their products, innovations, and capabilities. Exhibiting for the first time at a DVN Workshop were Myotek, the US-based OE supplier of high-technology, high-performance LED fog lamps and specialty lighting.

With a rubric of Digital Light, the lectures ran the gamut of topics from technical and technological developments, to thorough comparisons of the relative merits of various ways of achieving digitalisation of car lights, to questions of how best to grapple with regulatory lag and constraint and matters of societal acceptance of AVs. And beyond the improvements we can expect in the performance and versatility of advanced lighting systems, there were presentations giving high hope for big improvements in the quality of the light itself—Seoul Semiconductor described their new "SunLike" purple-based technology for producing white LEDs with a better output spectrum.

There was a lively panel discussion wherein participants—some of our community's best minds—sparred over tough questions like what to do about the fact that LED headlamps, initially touted as energy-, weight-, and CO2-savers, are now growing heavier and more power hungry. There was a gala award ceremony recognising individuals for their remarkable contributions in our world, after which was a festive dinner at the fancy Munich Airport Hilton. Outside, there were flashy demonstrator cars showing off all kinds of digital light advances. And this workshop also served as the kickoff for the new DVN Workshop app for iOS and Android. The app made it easy for questions to be submitted to speakers, attendees to contact one another and keep track of the docket.

This 125th report contains full reportage of the DVN Munich Workshop held on 30–31 January. It was an especially celebratory event, being the 16th DVN Workshop and the 10th anniversary of DVN. 
The Workshop included 31 lectures from automakers, lamp setmakers, component suppliers, service providers, technical-standards developers, and academics. Each lecture is summarised and annotated with our comments and reactions. A précis and commentary are also provided for the panel discussion.

Each of the eight demonstrator cars, seven DVN award recipients, and 13 expo booths is pictured and described, and there are photos of the exellent networking opportunities (and excellent food!) characteristic of DVN Workshops, wherever they are held. All in all, there are over 137 pictures and 14,000 words here. It's a pity if you could not attend, but in this report you are about to get the next-best thing. We hope you get at least as much out of it as we of the DVN team have put into it.

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