Daimler announced that its Mercedes-Maybach S-Class will be outfitted with the headlamp technology, Digital Light. The technology has a virtually dazzle-free main beam in high-definition (HD) quality and a resolution of more than two million pixels, according to the company. Selected fleet customers are expected to take delivery of the first vehicles equipped with the technology in the first half of 2018.
"With a resolution of over one million pixels per headlamp, Digital Light not only creates ideal light conditions for every driving situation, it also extends the visual support from our driving assistance systems," said Ola Källenius, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
The headlamp technology reportedly facilitates advanced driving assistance and communication with the driver and can create the ideal light conditions in every driving situation. According to company officials, Digital Light offers higher precision than Multibeam LED headlamps, minimizing the risk of other road users being dazzled.
A chip with more than a million micro-reflectors (i.e., a total of over two million per vehicle) enables the new HD-quality headlamp. Cameras and sensor systems in the vehicle detect other road users, and computers evaluate the data plus digital navigation maps and give the headlamps the commands for best possible adaption of the light distribution.
With the software-controlled Digital Light technology, symbols can also be projected onto the road in HD quality. This not only gives the driver information directly in their field of vision, but in a second step it could also make communication with the surroundings possible.
The Digital Light functions include:
- Guide lines: When driving through a construction site, two trails of light corresponding to the entire width of the car are projected onto the driver's own lane. These guide lines help the driver with orientation.
- Extended pedestrian mark: If a pedestrian is detected in the danger zone near the road, an arrow pointing toward them appears on the road surface. This is in addition to the mark already made by the Adaptive Highbeam Assist.
- Distance mark: This function supports the driver in setting the standard proximity appropriate for certain situations. When the driver activates the DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control or changes the standard proximity, an appropriate proximity mark appears on the road.
The car with Digital Light technology can also warn the driver about certain dangers and give relevant information on the road. For example, if the car is in danger of leaving its lane and entering the oncoming traffic, a lane-keeping symbol is projected onto the road.
The following symbols are available as small series production starts: low-grip surface symbol, construction-site symbol, rear-end collision symbol, lane-keeping symbol, blind-spot symbol, and speed symbol.