Mercedes-Benz jsut introduced a new project, involving the development of digital projector headlamps of the future that will - among other things - be able to project images and other infromation onto the surface in front of the driving car.
Projector headlamp technology is not entirely new, as we can already see it at work in many premium vehicles, including the new E Class, where it is responsible for dimming the high beam lights in the event of an approaching vehicle. Daimler engineers took it a step further by adding some extra functions, allowing the headlamps to project certain images onto the road surface ahead of the car - albeit only in its experimental stage.
Similar to today's HUD windscreen projectors and various navgiation system displays, the surface can display traffic signs, while the beam can also estimate if the path between two houses or the driveway is wide enough for the car to drive on safely. It is also possible to project light traces onto the road to replace missing road markings, while digital light systems can also beam messages like direction arrows or warnings onto the road.
The car can act very friendly as well – it can project symbols or a zebra crossing for pedestrians, telling them you are giving them way. But that is, of course, not all the new technology can do. At the strat up, the car can even say hello to you by displaying its logo.
This HD headlmap projection system is dubbed ''Digital Light' at Daimler's and consists of two dazzle-free main beams, each equipped with a chip that works with over a million micro-mirrors, i.e. more than two million in total per vehicle. Sensors, such as cameras or radar, detect other road users and powerful computers evaluate the data as well as digital cards in milliseconds and give the headlamps the commands for adapting the light distribution in all situations. With gathered data, algorithms calculate in real time the brightness value for each one of over two million pixels, thus offering numerous possibilities to provide ideal, high-resolution light distribution which suits the surrounding conditions perfectly.