Miniature Lens Assembly for Light Projection
In automotive lighting today, the beam is generally shaped using optical technology which is several decades old. Usually, the physics of light projection necessitates a long minimum distance between the light source and the projector lens. This means that the entire projector module assembly has a large volume, and occupies a substantial area in the body of the vehicle. By projecting an image through an array of lenslets, the focal length between the light source and the lens can be massively reduced. This creates a projector with far smaller dimensions than a conventional single-lens projector.
The adoption of Micro Lens Array (MLA) technology marks an abrupt break from traditional approaches to automotive lighting design: the first time it enables a tightly-focused beam or even an image or pattern to be projected on the surface of the road or pavement, all this from an assembly, just a few millimeters deep and high.
Enhanced Decorative Lighting was the first application for Micro Lens Array technology. Today, there are many practical use cases and automotive designers are continually inventing new use cases. The technology is used to display a pattern or a logo in good resolution (e.g. foot well lighting picture, welcoming light, etc.). In future, safety lighting is of great interest for car manufacturers, for example, guidelines for reversing maneuvers.