Opel introduces LED light matrix technology [video]

Will be launched within a few years

Opel has unveiled their new LED light matrix technology.

Designed to make nighttime driving safer, the system uses high beams in the standard driving mode. While this sounds odd, a front camera detects oncoming traffic and automatically dims the area around the vehicle.  However, the rest of the road remains brightly illuminated.

As for the headlights themselves, they have four light segments with four separate light sources that can be switched on or off individually. This gives the headlights 256 different light combinations which are adjusted in a "smooth and fluid" motion so the driver isn't distracted.

The LED light matrix technology is still undergoing testing, but will be introduced in production models within a few years.

Opel Revolutionizes Lighting in Auto Construction

  • Opel develops intelligent, glare-free LED matrix light
  • For more than a decade Opel has leadership in light system development
Rüsselsheim. Opel has developed a revolutionary safety lighting system, the intelligent LED matrix light. This light technology which is completely new to automotive construction will make night-time driving even safer and more relaxing and comfortable for the driver.

Opel is currently the first car maker to road-test a fully integrated matrix light in prototypes. The matrix light embodies a new philosophy in lighting technology. Rather than using the low beam as the default setting, the high beam is always the standard mode in the new matrix lighting concept. By taking this new approach, the high beam is always kept glare free and is automatically adapted according to the traffic situation. In that sense the matrix light assists the driver in an intelligent way, giving him a stress free driving experience, while maintaining the highest possible level of safety. The light is adjusted more rapidly to the current traffic situation than any solution which relies on the driver or is based on mechanically moved elements.

"Active safety is a focal point of the engineering strategy at Opel," says Opel's Vice President of Engineering, Rita Forst. "We were the first automakers to bring AFL - the combination of dynamic xenon curve light and static cornering light - to the market back in 2002. Opel is now set to revolutionize night-time driving again with the intelligent matrix light, the most advanced automotive lighting system in the world."
The matrix light works in combination with the Opel front camera which is located between the windshield and the rear-view mirror. As soon as the sensors of the front camera detect light sources from oncoming or proceeding traffic, that area is completely dimmed, while the rest of the road remains brightly illuminated.

This ensures that while other road users are never dazzled, other non-illuminated obstacles are always made visible.

The exclusive use of LED elements inside the matrix light, has a series of significant benefits since the new light system is more energy efficient than conventional HID and halogen lamps. It only uses around half the energy consumed by halogen lamps. Each of the two matrix headlamps consists of four light segments. Behind each segment, there are four separate light sources that can be switched on or off individually, producing sixteen possible AFL combinations per headlamp. The changes between the 256 different possible light settings are smooth and fluid, without the driver even noticing.

So far only the day running lights were able to replicate Opel's signature arrow shape. However, now the low beam when used at night can also do this. This was done by combining the two functions: the day time running lights and the low beam now share the row of seven light elements. The solution gives the vehicle designers more freedom to create new car designs.

The new matrix light concept will be gradually rolled out across Opel's car lines in the next few years, as was the case in 2002 when Opel became the first car maker to bring the safety lighting system AFL to market. The most up-to-date AFL system (AFL+) includes bi xenon gas discharge lamps, adverse weather light, dynamic curve light and static cornering light, high beam light assistant and LED daytime running lights.

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Comments (7)

Opel certainly upped the LED lighting game. What an interesting innovation.
Mar 29th, 2012 5:18pm
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I had my doubts about all this automation but recently I drove in an Insignia and its oncoming traffic detection was amazing. Without any errors it was handling the standard/high beam without confusing car lights with signals or other lights. Like AlikMalix said we'll get rid of annoying drivers blinding us.
Mar 29th, 2012 10:44am
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eddie eddie
Since GM and Opel are one in the same, why do we not see technology like this in the USA, like maybe the next Corvette..Come on GM lets lead the pack and not follow Germany!
Mar 29th, 2012 2:12am
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progressive progressive
Because in USA they are cheap with technology, but in Europe there is a huge competition with high quality cars full of technology. I have Astra, it's brilliant car for the money.
Mar 30th, 2012 5:37pm
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AlikMalix AlikMalix
Wow, what an awesome innovation. Looks like it works well now -- put it on cars NOW. I'm sick of being blinded by raised SUV's and Trucks from the rear -- these should be required by law.
Mar 28th, 2012 11:07pm
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charlemagne charlemagne
in less than 10 years, but no sooner than five everyone will use LED on their cars - and that will allow some very interesting headlamp designs.
Mar 28th, 2012 9:57pm
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adz911 adz911
Wow, that's pretty funky. I quite like the idea.
Mar 28th, 2012 9:48pm
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