In order to optimally design, test and present future lighting functions, Volkswagen Design has developed a new, innovative working tool: the light demonstrator. This ID. model allows the designers to project the light of the future into the present. The Volkswagen designers use it to look beyond the functions of headlights and tail light clusters of today and create light coverage that displays new, intelligent and functional exterior content.
Light writes the script of the actions
With regard to exterior light staging, the designers are particularly concerned with the script of the actions. The design of these processes is extended by time to create a product which is experience beyond a simple static impression. In the future, light will welcome you, say goodbye, give a warning, interact, communicate and give the vehicle an individual personality via editable lighting behaviour. At a time when mobility is changing, lighting designers attach the greatest importance to intelligent interaction content. The focus is always on the human being.
The following scenarios (shown with the light demonstrator) show sections of new, functional light staging for the Volkswagen of the future. There are also scenarios that currently cannot be approved, as the legal framework is not yet in place. But the task of lighting designers is to develop useful concepts for the world of tomorrow beyond the boundaries that still exist today.
Welcome scenario / ‘eyes’ looking at the driver
In the future, light will convey emotions and feelings. The driver will be welcomed by the car. It will wake up as the driver approaches. The welcome scenario starts with the VW logo progressively getting brighter. From this centre point, a 360-degree light path then surrounds the vehicle. The car opens its ‘eyes’ and looks at the driver. Finally, a carpet of light is rolled out in front of the door. It marks the entrance area. The light staging itself is not only visually spectacular, it also attracts more attention and thus maximises safety in the dark.
Driving start / focus on front projection
Light will communicate from now on. The car projects its current driving manoeuvres – so-called "driving intentions" – visually onto the road. When driving off, for example. This manoeuvre is communicated via an animated projection at the front. Or when driving out of a parking space. A laterally directed projection represents a turn signal extended using light. This allows other road users to recognise the driver's intentions early on and react. This is particularly useful for assisted driving vehicles, where there is no need to communicate with the driver.
Assisted mode / marker lighting
Light will interact with us all tomorrow. In assisted mode – without an active driver – the car takes over eye contact with other road users. In conjunction with the communication of "driving intentions", other road users are informed in an intuitively understandable way that they have been seen and that the vehicle will react accordingly. A Volkswagen that starts in assisted mode and is on the road could also be identified as driving autonomously via special marker lighting in the future. The aim is to increase confidence in assisted driving cars and facilitate orientation in mixed traffic.
Light blind in roof / rear window as third brake light
Light will take on new forms. A striking example of this is a light blind in the roof. On the one hand, it serves as homogeneous and versatile adjustable interior lighting, but can illuminate from the outside, making it easier to locate the car in a large car park, for example. Like a blind, the light curtain can be opened and closed in the glass roof and stopped at any position. The colours and brightness are also adjustable. If the principle is extended to the rear window, the light blind also functions as a third brake light with brake force visualisation. When braking gently, only part of the blind "rolls up" from bottom to top. If the car is heavily braked, the brake light increases to the entire rear window area. The warning effect is increased and intensified many times by this use of dynamic light. The parallel visualisation of the braking forces is also a safety measure.
Dynamic projection / warning of door opening
At Volkswagen, light always contributes to increased safety. And this effect will continue to intensify in the future. Particularly in urban areas, dynamic projections should help to increase safety. For example, if a driver moves to get out of the car as a cyclist approaches the blind spot from behind. Before the door opens, the vehicle detects the hazardous situation and dynamically projects the impending opening of the door onto the ground next to the vehicle. In addition, a red light is switched on in the window, which is visible from inside and outside and warns the driver and cyclist alike.