Blog
Oct 10, 2018

Automotive Lighting and Signaling: New Solutions for Enhanced Safety and Style

Category: Automotive

Dirk Vanderhaeghen, Senior Director of Lumileds OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Market Strategy, emphasizes future opportunities for lighting in electric and autonomous vehicles and stresses the importance of updating regulations to support ongoing innovation.

By Dirk Vanderhaeghen, Senior Director of Lumileds OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Market Strategy.

Graduated in 1992 with a Masters electronic engineering degree from the University in Ghent, Belgium. Joined Philips Lighting in 1995 and worked for different application areas in special lighting and digital projection lighting. Since 2005 he joined Philips Automotive Lighting Aachen, Germany. During 2009-2013 he worked at Lumileds in San Jose, CA and in mid-2013 he transitioned back to Germany, where he currently is responsible for the market strategy of the OEM automotive business.


That is why we have investigated the possibilities of interconnecting lighting systems with other devices, such as cameras. As senior director of OEM market strategy, my job is to evaluate application trends and to translate these into technology scouting options. I collaborate with our partners to determine opportunities for innovation that will allow us to create new applications based on innovative optical and electronic technologies.

What are the main challenges you face?

On the premium market, car manufacturers want to stand out through innovative solutions. We offer them new enabling technologies, bringing higher performance and differentiating extended features.

On the mass market, we are focusing on developing cost-effective modular solutions that enable an efficient execution of innovation projects across the global automotive lighting industry.

When developing new technologies, it is important to carefully monitor the evolution of regulations governing the future of the automotive market. We believe that the regulatory framework should be reviewed and refreshed in a timely manner to make it possible to industrialize and commercialize the new digital lighting solutions which automated vehicles will require.


What are your development prospects?

On the luxury market, we are developing a new, high-luminance LED product range so optics can be further miniaturized to enable even slimmer lighting profiles, enhancing the headlamp styling.

On the mass market, we are increasing the electrical efficiency of lighting solutions of cars by reducing the energy consumption for the batteries and minimizing overall manufacturing costs; driven by the generalist car manufacturers by using modular, more standardized solutions.


The world of car manufacturing is going through a period of real evolution, driven by the challenges of future mobility. How does this translate in case of automotive lighting?

We are witnessing the emergence of high-resolution digital headlighting, integrating several features related to automatic headlight control. Currently, the standard lighting control systems distribute the luminous flux exclusively to the driving beam area, being illuminated. However new adaptive driving beam technology adapts the headlighting beam based on the obstacles on the road.

Artificial intelligence can improve the lighting systems of autonomous vehicles by refining detection parameters and making them more sensitive to external hazards such as pedestrians.

Digital headlighting effectively combines vision based on human reasoning with artificial intelligence, making it possible to achieve higher-definition lighting. This type of lighting improves the performance of cameras, for example, enabling better detection of obstacles, markings, signs, road users and other vehicles.

Dynamic display-like signaling for future autonomous vehicles is an example of a real evolution potential in design and functionality that is enhancing road safety.


What are your main missions as senior director of OEM market strategy?

Lumileds is a global company that provides lighting solutions for various applications, including the automotive sector (LEDs and conventional halogen and xenon bulbs). We develop new lighting solutions for headlighting and signaling applications for the cars of the future.

The megatrends and quickly changing developments in headlighting and signaling applications make it essential for us to offer new technical solutions to better meet the needs of car manufacturers.