Interior lighting – from static to on surface projection

Regarding automation and the vehicle becoming the 3rd home, new territories are needed to re-invent the lighting onboard experience and reinforce a home-like feeling.
Besides, higher levels of vehicle autonomy involve new communication between the vehicle and the driver/passengers in order to create trust and reassure occupants.

Brand and personalization of the vehicle

With a wide offer in terms of both vehicles and powertrains, differentiation is achieved thanks to a dedicated visual identity, both outside and inside the vehicle.
Onboard ambient lighting is a key element to this Brand identity.
Current applications are mainly what we call static ambient lighting. Whether monochromatic or RGB, direct or indirect, both premium and mainstream vehicles are now equipped with static ambient lighting solutions. ll segments are concerned. Valeo Interior Lighting Systems deliver static ambient lighting systems to many OEMs all over the world.

With the evolution towards home-like cabin,one trend is to merge decorative parts and lighting into one backlit system.

Backlit decorations create a specific signature when activated, enabling a polymorphic interior, whether thanks to an “augmented” pattern (visible when off but highlighted when on) or reveal one that is hidden for a specific night signature.
Valeo develops specific technical bricks for backlit decorative surfaces. A wide range of decorative parts are investigated to meet our customers’ requirements (plastic-based,artificial leather metal aspect and wood to mention a few).
In order to achieve perfect perceived light (luminance, color, homogeneity, etc) and ensure the expected user experience, the decorative parts’ specifications need to be taken into account and backlit systems specified accordingly. Once activated, the system backlights the decorative features in a homogenous manner, enhancing the brand’s signature and design.

Enhancement of perceived safety for passengers towards immersivity

In order to use light as a visual cue, dynamic ambient lighting appears on vehicles. Its use of smart LEDs enables a highly controlled system able to create an animation throughout the cabin or in a very specific area. Speed, luminance, color can be managed for each LED in order to get a warning or a visual feedback in day and night conditions. Addressed use cases are numerous:

  • incoming call,
  • personal assistant visualization,
  • input on navigation or ADAS system (blind spot detection, distance warning, etc).

Dynamic ambient lighting offers many opportunities in an evolving cabin.
Solutions listed above are embedded in the vehicle’s components and if it can be updated, it remains “limited” in its shape by mechanical parts.

In order to offer limitless evolution of the cabin and extend the focus to all passengers, on surface projection appears as an exciting alternative. It offers various possibilities: fixed and simple images/patterns, anamorphic projection to visually reshape the surfaces or streaming content.
It enables to change almost infinitely the design of the interior, enabling then the owner or users (if considering a shared application) of the vehicle to adapt it to their mood and taste and to deliver a personalized experience.
In a longer term, Over-the-Air updates could deliver new “skin” packages or easter-eggs, offering an evolving experience throughout the lifetime of the vehicle, adding value to the travel experience. Beyond pure decoration, it combines also functional lighting with HMI projection, content, etc.