PARIS - Valeo Lighting Systems of Paris has introduced a new headlight prototype called Baroptic. It is smaller and has more design flexibility than traditional lamps.
The Baroptic transmits light from a bulb attached to the end of a glass light guide, or pipe. The light is directed down the pipe by a small elliptical mirror, and is then diverted to four Fresnel lenses along the pipe's length. These are separated by shields, directing light beams over different sections of the road ahead.
Project leader Alban L'Hermine said the 45mm-high Baroptic can match lighting capabilities of 70mm-high lamps.
Its 110mm depth is also shallower than traditional lamps. The design can be configured horizontally, vertically or in between, making it good for smaller cars and more aerodynamic applications.
A Valeo spokeswoman said Baroptic could be ready for production after 2000. There are no contracts for the lamp yet, but Audi included Baroptic lamps in its AL2 aluminum vehicle prototypes at the 1997 Frankfurt and Tokyo auto shows.