News of October 30, 2002
AFL - Adaptive Forward Lighting: Innovative Lighting Technology For Opel Vectra And Signum
Opel Brings Intelligent Bi-Xenon Headlights To Midsize Cars
Rüsselsheim - Opel will introduce a pioneering headlight technology, called Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), which provides a clear advantage in terms of active safety and comfort. AFL, which combines swiveling Bi-Xenon headlights with a light that turns at a 90 degree angle for intersections and narrow corners, is being offered next year in the Opel Vectra and the new Signum. Opel is the first car manufacturer to make this new lighting technology available for a wide spectrum of customers by offering it in midsize cars. The AFL system, developed jointly by Opel and Hella, will soon be available in other Opel models. "Adaptive Forward Lighting offers a significant improvement in road safety and driving comfort. AFL is also further proof of Opel's ability to innovate, because our goal is to make attractive technology affordable in all types of cars", said Opel's executive director of engineering, Hans H. Demant.
The aim of the lighting specialists at Opel was to make driving in the dark and in bad weather conditions easier and above all safer. According to the latest figures from Germany's Federal Statistics Bureau, more than 40 percent of all automobile accidents resulting in death occur at night, despite the fact that there is up to 80 percent less traffic on the road than during the day. This comes as no surprise. Scientific studies have shown that visual perception, with which we absorb 90 percent of all traffic relevant information, is reduced to as little as four percent when visibility is poor at night. The Adaptive Forward Lighting System provides an added measure of safety in autumn and winter especially, when fewer daylight hours, late sunrise, early dusk and frequent rain and fog, create poor visibility.
Modification of the existing ECE regulations (Economic Commission for Europe) is a precondition for the introduction of the AFL technology. Previously only moving main- beam headlights were allowed, but not swiveling of the asymmetrical headlights. The amendment to the regulations is expected at the beginning of 2003.
Compared to standard headlights, the new Adaptive Forward Lighting system offers the following additional functions:
Curve-light: The swiveling front headlights shine at an angle of up to +/- 15 degrees, depending on the steering angle and car speed. Curves are better illuminated by up to 90 percent. This not only contributes to increased safety and car control, but also enhances the dynamic driving characteristics of the car and ensures additional safety and comfort.
Turning-light: Junctions and narrow bends receive additional wide-angle lighting. The illumination is nearly 90 degrees to the direction of travel over a distance of approximately 30 meters from the car. The turning-light is designed to function only at speeds up to 50 km/h, so that it does not activate in situations like lane changes on the motorway.
Main-beam headlight: Bi-Xeon lights provide extremely powerful lighting on main-beam. With Opel's sophisticated Bi-Xenon system, dipped-headlights and main-beam can be projected on the road through one single Xenon bulb per headlight. A movable aperture in the beam path allows the switching of dipped-headlights to main-beam. The advantages are an especially intensive and bright beam of light, which has the same color as dipped-headlights.
(October 28, 2002)