HELLA partners with Covestro to develop holographic vehicle lighting

Lighting specialist HELLA has teamed up with leading polymer manufacturer Covestro to develop an industry-first holographic rear-lighting system with 3D effects for passenger vehicles.

Image credit: www.prnewswire.com
Image credit: www.prnewswire.com

According to the press release on the Pr Newswire, the unique rear lighting system is based on a lamp with three parts, each equipped with holographic technology.

Dr Michael Kleinkes, head of Development Lighting Technology at HELLA, said the HELLA-developed holograms were incorporated into a transparent holographic film and laminated the film onto a 3 mm glass plate by Covestro.

“Holographic films are perfectly suited for integrating different lighting functions into the body of a car in space-saving, unobtrusive ways,” Mr Kleinkes said.

“The installation depth can be reduced and auto manufacturers will have the ability to install lamps that are more compact in size.”

The holographic film is illuminated from behind by LED light sources and reflectors to create a 3D effect.

Mr Kleinkes said the outer elements of each lamp feature numerous holographic “flakes.” According to him, integrated into the tailgate is a middle lamp on which the HELLA and Covestro logos appear to be floating.

“Instead of a high mounted stop lamp, the rear stop lamp and centre high mount stop lamp are combined into a unique single unit that sweeps across the entire rear of the vehicle,” Mr Kleinkes added.

“With all statutory regulations met, it would be possible to implement this approach in series production almost immediately.”

The vehicle’s tail lights are visually combined with the direction indicators, using a diffuser film with diffractive optics developed by Covestro.

“The diffuser film forms and distributes uniform light beams with a minimal loss of light. Bi-coloured LEDs generate rear turn signals and tail-light functions. Sequential turn signals are also possible with the vehicle’s LED light system,” read the press release.

HELLA and Covestro created seamless, uniform front-surface signal lighting for the vehicle as well.

“Signal functions are generated by a three-part EdgeLight light guide that spans the entire front of the vehicle as a continuous strip of light. The two outer parts of the light guide create the direction-indicator lights, as well as daytime running lights, which also can be dimmed to position lighting. The middle light guide is responsible for the continuous daytime running lights and a position light signature. Both functions can be animate,” it says in the press release.

“The area in front of the vehicle is illuminated using four ComLED modules. The two main lighting functions of low beam and high beam lighting are executed by the matrix HD84 module developed by HELLA.”

According to the two companies, LED displays are integrated into both the front and rear of the vehicle to enable additional animation, such as a welcome light function.

“In the future, additional safety or convenience displays could be created to improve the driving experience, both while the car is stationary and in motion. For example when braking, it might be possible to illuminate the rear lamp with a message such as “STOP”,” reads the press release.

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