GLOBAL AUTOMOTIVE LASER LIGHTING MARKET
Automotive lighting occupies a major chunk of share in the automotive design segment and the headlights are the leading lighting sector by position. The laser headlights are capable of illuminating at higher intensity than any other form of automotive lights and also are proved to be able to increase the range of vision by 6 times than the next popular lighting i.e. LEDs. The increased concern towards safety has led to the shift of automotive industry towards the laser lights.
- Laser Diode
- Phosphorous Lens
By Vehicle Type
The increase accidents on roads particularly on highways around the world have prompted the governments to take action to improve the headlight technology. Several automakers have started patenting the design and technology of the laser headlights.
Laser sourced headlights introduced in BMW i8 is having higher luminosity of all the other technologies. It provides higher range of visibility than LEDs. Audi in its R8 LMX used 4 laser diodes per headlight.
As of now Laser powered headlights are mostly found in the sports and luxury segment cars. Due to their pricing their application is restricted.
The below figure shows the headlights market share among passenger cars:
MARKET BY COMPONENTS
Laser diodes the light emitting source is crucial and are the largest revenue attracting component. The arrangement of these diodes varies with respect to the auto manufacturer and it also varies in the number of diodes used. For instance BMW uses 3 laser diodes where 2 are at same level and 1 below them bisecting the 2. The mirrors are placed to reflect the light on to the lens. The blue light coming out of diodes are when made to fall on the phosphorous lens, the resulting light is incoherent and white in nature. The white light falls on projector so as to direct the light on to the road.
Various automotive lighting manufacturers are developing new configurations i.e. the arrangement of these mirrors, lens and reflectors.
MARKET BY VEHICLE TYPE
The cost and set-up of the laser headlights has restricted to passenger cars in the market. The laser lights are restricted to luxury and premium cars segments. BMW’s i8 Coupe and Roadster plug-in hybrid cars feature the laser lights. Audi’s e-tron is expected to be released with the laser headlight by late 2020 or 2021.
US AUTOMOTIVE LASER LIGHTS MARKET
NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in 2018 has approved for adoption of advanced lighting in the passenger cars. Late 2019 models of BMW M5 and Audi A8 came with the laser lights however they were integrated with the existing LED lights and were allowed to operate on the high beams. Since the NHTSA has not fully approved the headlights the laser lights are not independently present in the US headlight market.
EUROPE AUTOMOTIVE LASER LIGHTS MARKET
The first region to adopt the laser lights and since 2014 the luxury passenger cars are available with laser lights. It first got integrated with the LED lights and the laser lights came out when the speed went past 70 km/h.
In Europe currently BMW holds the highest share in the laser light market and has 5 models across i, 7 series and X series models. Audi has R8 model on road featuring laser lights.
CHINA AUTOMOTIVE LASER LIGHTS MARKET
In China the premium cars such as BMW X5, X7 and 7-series and Audi A8L feature the laser headlights. While it is standard in BMW X 5 models, it is a option in other models of BMW and Audi.
MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST
The laser light focussed mainly in headlights position right now in the market is expected to widen its presence in the cars. The developments are made to incorporate the laser lights in the rear-view mirrors by SLD Laser.
RECENT MARKET TREND
- In July 2019, Osram and Continental JV developed the laser LED headlight system with more than 4,000 individually controllable pixels each.
- SLD Laser has developed a laser light module which not only emit more light but also able to transmit data from car-to-car. These modules are called “Li-Fi”. These modules replace the old bumper radars and consume minimal space in the headlight assembly.
Osram (Germany) were the pioneers in laser lighting technology. BMW i8 and Audi R8 the first cars were equipped with Osram’s equipment. SLD Laser California based company has penetrated the market by manufacturing laser lights for BMW’s M5. Hella (Germany) the leading automotive lighting company has developed a HD matrix LED lamps with laser high beams for Audi A8 models.