Intelligent exterior lighting design has emerged as a major focus from a range of automakers, as the combination of advanced hardware and integrated software systems offers expanded opportunities for communication and warning.
Beyond fashion-forward aesthetics, these new-generation lights have an increasingly communicative role to play for pedestrians and other vehicles on the road, as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) use sophisticated signaling solutions to convey navigational intent.
Lighting has begun to speak, but this evolution merely reflects the overall trends emerging in the automotive industry.
"Technology is helping achieve many breakthroughs affecting practically all features and systems one can find in a car," Gartner analyst Pedro Pacheco said. "Lights are essential for safety and are also a key aesthetical element. As such, it would be expected that the automotive industry would invest in innovating vehicle lighting."
Pacheco said he expects developments in exterior lighting to become increasingly relevant as a component that can integrate many other sensors besides lighting, such as cameras and lidar, an approach that would enable increased sensor integration without disturbing vehicle designs.