Efficient development of smart headlamp systems.

SHT: Smart Headlamp Technology

Research project

Motivation and issue

Modern headlamp systems are dynamic, highly complex and multifunctional, meaning that the underlying development process is becoming increasingly sophisticated as well. The “Smart Headlamp Technology” research project investigates more resource-efficient ways of developing these systems.

Project objectives and approach

The research project uses highly dynamic “hardware-in-the-loop test beds” to identify areas in which there is room to improve the intricate development processes: This is a method in which real systems are connected with the virtual environment and can therefore be put through more extensive tests. For instance, light distribution and functions can be tested early on in development in combination with a driving simulator—without requiring elaborate real world testing. As part of the project, Fraunhofer IEM developed a kinematic test bed that uses simulative calculations to replicate the movements of the vehicle nose. This enables the acquisition of reality-based data that is plowed back into optimization processes after collection. In addition, the collected data is used to conduct condition monitoring, which means permanently recording the status of the dynamic headlamp functions. Systematic tie-ins between the simulation, “hardware-in-the-loop test beds” and real test drives guarantee the quality of data: The data is interconnected and hence creates an essential basis for continued research. Ultimately the aim is to equip the highly sophisticated headlamp systems to become self-monitoring: Potential errors can be detected early on, and the system is then able to initiate suitable self-healing measures to rectify the problem. This ensures that even the complex headlamp systems of the future can be used reliably and developed efficiently.

Project overview

Project title

SHT: Smart Headlamp Technology


European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

Funding volume € 3,5 million
Cooperation Partners
  • Heinz Nixdorf Institute
  • HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Technical University of Dortmund
Project manager Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Christopher Lankeit

This project was supported with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).