BMW 7-series gets Welcome Light Carpet to guide your way to the car
I remember fumbling around trying to search for my car in those poorly lit parking lots. I’m certain there will be many more like me, but how about a scenario where with press a button on your keychain a stripped carpet of light appears underneath the car illuminating the path to your car? How easy would it be to locate the car and enter it in the dark? Thanks to researchers from Fraunhofer University, new BMW 7-series would feature Welcome Light Carpet – a lighting system with stripped pattern of lights making it easier to enter the car in dark.
To make this possible, Fraunhofer researchers have developed microoptic lenses especially for the 7-series. Microoptic lenses are embedded into a vehicle’s underbody. These project light beams onto the ground in a striped pattern and cover up to four square meters area around the vehicle’s doors on both sides.
Microoptics developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, feature microlenses put together in a honeycomb array, which can project light directly on a desired surface. The number of microprojectors fitted in one cluster can be altered to increase the light. Installed to the underbody of the car below the driver’s door; the projectors easily emit light with tap of a button to illuminate a large area on the ground around the car.
A lighting feature of this sort isn’t a very novel concept. There are carmakers that have used lights on exterior mirrors and doors of their cars for the same purpose. These alternatives are not so effective since lights on the mirror do not illuminate the area around the car and lights on the doors light up when the doors are opened, which makes no sense.