Koito Manufacturing Co Ltd developed two kinds of headlights, planning to start to mass-produce them in about 2020.
Prototypes of the headlights were exhibited at "CES Unveiled," an event that was organized Jan 6, 2019, prior to CES 2019, which took place from Jan 8 to 11, 2019, in Las Vegas, the US.
The two headlights detect preceding vehicles, oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, etc and cut only light going to them so that drivers and pedestrians are not dazzled.
Koito is currently mass-producing headlights using the "LED Array" method, which controls light distribution by arranging two lines of 10-20 LED chips and turning on/off each of them. The controllable resolution is about 1.7° with a product using 12 LED chips.
The new products were developed so that only places where there is a vehicle or pedestrian are not irradiated.
"By expanding the area that can be irradiated as much as possible, it becomes possible to improve safety," Koito said.
The two products use different methods of controlling light distribution. They are the "Blade Scan" method, which is low in cost and expected to be employed for popular vehicles, and the "DMD (Digital Micromirror)" method, which is aimed at realizing a high resolution and expected to be employed for luxury cars.
Blade Scan method
The Blade Scan method controls light distribution by using two rotating blades (mirrors). Light from LED chips is diagonally reflected by the mirrors, and the area in front of the vehicle is irradiated through lenses.