OSRAM Continental takes HD automotive lighting to a new level with Augmented Reality technology

Modern HD lighting improves the user experience wherever it is used, including in the automotive industry. HD light sources pose a challenge, however, for light control units. To further develop the light-specific Sensor Fusion required for this, OSRAM Continental has teamed up with automotive software provider Elektrobit. 

The common goal of the two cooperation partners OSRAM Continental and Elektrobit is to offer innovative solutions that combine intelligent Sensor Fusion algorithms to provide drivers with ultra-fast and precise high-resolution high beam. The term Sensor Fusion relates to the smart fusion of data from different sources. 

Advanced augmented reality technologies give rise to new functionalities for the next generation of HD headlamps that will harness the full potential of HD automotive lighting. These functions include the exact positioning of AR displays on the road and the continuous and instant digital adaptation of the light beam. AR technology is currently being used in vehicles primarily for video augmentation in conjunction with surround view cameras as well as for navigation information on infotainment and AR head-up displays. Together with Elektrobit, we want to launch the high-resolution AR headlamp as the next innovation. For the first time it will then be possible to illuminate objects and street situations using global geo-referenced positions. Examples include on-road projections for the benefit of other road users and the illumination of specific junction scenarios.

Various approaches to artificial intelligence (AI), in particular machine learning, are already being used in different areas of the car to turn it into a smart, networked microcosm. At the same time, these AI approaches contribute to a safer and more comfortable driving experience. OSRAM Continental is conducting research into possible new functionalities in exterior and interior lighting.


Smart interior and exterior lighting for vehicles

The data on the vehicle’s environment collected by the sensors enables the car’s location to be accurately identified, the speed at which it is traveling and which traffic situation it will encounter next. These sensors may be on-board sensors such as cameras, radar, odometer and GPS, but can also be combined with off-board data to obtain more information about traffic. The data is processed, collated and analyzed to create a 360° image of the car’s current situation. In future generations of vehicles, such large amounts of data will be analyzed in combination with adaptive algorithms on high-performance computers to teach lighting applications which actions to take in given situations. 

Interior lighting can also benefit from the use of AI technologies. For example, gesture control of ambient lighting is an AI-based function for creating the most pleasant lighting in the car.


Development of AI is still in its infancy

Whether for exterior or interior lighting, all potential AI applications are based on the management of data from multiple sources. Data is collected and used to teach the algorithms how to respond to each scenario. OSRAM Continental uses cloud servers to process this data and deliver the results back to the car with minimum latency and maximum connectivity.

In combination with a variety of sensors, innovative AI-based functions offer new user experiences. Comprehensive research into all the possibilities that AI offers for the future of vehicle lighting is only in its infancy – and OSRAM Continental is making a significant contribution here.


Enhanced user experience with smart HD lighting functions

From pure front lighting to the 360° environment model