Hyundai Mobis wants future cars to project traffic sign icons from their headlights to improve road safety at night.
The company, a parts supplier controlled by Hyundai, has unveiled a lighting system capable of projecting text or images onto the road surface. In a press release, Hyundai Mobis described this as a potential extension of driving information displayed on head-up displays, as well as a potential way to warn pedestrians.
The lighting system is linked to the vehicle’s GPS and on-board cameras, allowing it to display the appropriate information in a given situation. For example, the headlights could project a roadwork sign when approaching a construction zone, or a pedestrian crossing sign, according to Hyundai Mobis.
The headlights are made up of many small LEDs with a collection of tiny mirrors. The system uses 25,000 LEDs, which Hyundai Mobis says is 250 times the amount used in conventional headlights. Each is 0.04mm wide, which is thinner than a human hair, while the mirrors are only 0.01mm wide. This allows precise control over shaping the light cast by the many LEDs into specific shapes.
Hyundai Mobis shaped projection headlights
Shape projection headlights are not a new idea. Mercedes demonstrated something similar in 2018 with the digital headlights of its Maybach S-Class luxury sedan, saying these million-pixel programmable lights could project lanes through road construction or use arrows to highlight. pedestrians, among others.
In 2022, Ford engineers in Europe demonstrated shaped projection headlights, also suggesting multiple possible uses, including warning drivers of dangerous road conditions, showing upcoming turns or showing a path around cyclists. Ford said the benefit of this technology is that it displays information in the driver’s line of sight, rather than on a screen, requiring drivers to take their eyes off the road. Hyundai Mobis, however, also hinted at possible uses in self-driving vehicles.
“In the age of autonomous driving, software technology capable of integrating many automotive components into a single device will be more important than ever,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
However, use in production vehicles is not guaranteed. Hyundai Mobis has shown off some neat technology over the years, including panoramic sunroof airbags and most recently a prototype Hyundai Ioniq 5 that rolls sideways using integrated steering and a motor. wheel. But the company does not always follow production plans.