Optical Park Assist
Volkswagen uses the example of the Optical Park Assist to show what is possible with an innovative optical concept on an area of just one square centimetre. This new lighting function uses a micro-lens array (MLA) to project all kinds of signs and navigation aids onto the ground behind, next to or in front of the car. The array is equipped with more than a hundred small micro-lenses, all of which project the same image onto the street. Due to the large number of lenses, both the imaging performance and the light intensity are very good. In the case of the Optical Park Assist newly developed by Volkswagen, red stripes are projected behind the car. They mark the width of the car, are perfectly visible via the side mirrors and thereby serve as an intuitive orientation aid when parking. The idea for the Optical Park Assist came about while parking in a situation next to a high curb, where a Volkswagen engineer did not want to damage his expensive light alloy wheels. And this is exactly what Optical Park Assist will be able to mitigate in the future.
Hardly visible in tail light or bumper
If cars are soon to be parked automatically (without driver), the manoeuvring path can be projected onto the road via the "Optical Park Assist" in order to alert pedestrians to a car being parked. The new assist system also offers increased safety in the event of a breakdown or when getting in and out of the car, since in this case a safety zone projected onto the ground in the vicinity of the vehicle indicates the situation. The multi-lens array can be integrated into the bumper or tail light, for example. The image quality remains good even if the car is tilted, raised or lowered.