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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Lighting expert, HELLA, crucial to development of innovative technology!

Date: 18-Jul-2017

Lighting and electronics expert, HELLA, has developed and constructed a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) headlamp in collaboration with multiple project partners.

"For the first time, we have integrated Liquid Crystal HD technology into a vehicle. Thanks to its great resolution and sharpness of detail, it opens up very new paths in automotive lighting technology," said Vice President Development Lighting & Innovation at HELLA, Dr Michael Kleinkes.

The new LCD headlamp projects 30,000 pixels onto the road, which adjusts the light pattern to various driving situations in real time: "The use of an LC display is a further step towards digitalising lighting," said Head of Lighting Technology Pre-Development at HELLA, Christian Schmidt.

This means the adaptation of the light pattern will be increasingly determined by the vehicle’s software. Individual light segments with other vehicles or strongly reflecting street signs can be blocked out or dimmed in a targeted manner. Highly complex functions are also conceivable – navigation arrows or lines showing the ideal lane can be projected onto the road.

"LCD technology enables functions that will also be relevant to autonomous driving", said Christian Schmidt. "We will, therefore, make the technology fit for serial production."

The LC display is the headlamp's key component; it is situated between the LED light source and the projection lens. The display generates a matrix with 100 x 300 pixels that can be individually controlled and dimmed. A camera installed in the vehicle, as well as a sensor reading distances and speeds, will forward the information to the headlamp control unit via a processor.

Subsequently, this will direct the individual display pixels up to 60 times per second. Twenty-five high-power LEDs arranged in three rows will serve as light source, and each LED's light intensity will be adjusted to the respective lighting situation.

HELLA has developed the concept for the LCD headlamp's optical system during this research project, ensuring high system efficiency and a thermal concept. HELLA also provided the integration of the various components into the overall system and developed an interface between the lighting control and headlamp. Test drivers at the University of Paderborn are currently testing a prototype under realistic driving conditions.

Due to increasing traffic volumes and safety requirements, intelligent lighting systems are of growing importance. LCD technology enables completely new functionalities and opportunities, and the use is not limited to passenger cars but also to commercial vehicles and buses.

For more information about the OE quality products available from HELLA or for Behr Hella Service, please call customer services on: 01295 662400 or email

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