SEOUL -- ZKW, an Austrian lighting system producer affiliated with South Korea's LG Electronics, and partner companies are working on the development of new micromirror modules, a complicated device that can specifically and precisely shoot laser beams. Such modules will enable smart light functions for autonomous vehicles.
A micromirror module is a complex microelectromechanical system (MEMS) that consists of a chip with integrated microscopic mirror mechanics. The mirror can be pivoted around to shoot laser beams to project symbols and warnings on the road. The mirror technology can be used in front lights, rear lights, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems for optical distance measurement.
"The goal of this so-called ‘smart road lighting’ is to make vehicles smarter, safer and more interactive," ZKW CEO Oliver Schubert said in a press release on August 25. Schubert predicted that MEMS could become a strategically important key technology that enables new automated lighting functions for autonomous vehicles.
ZKW's partners included Silicon Austrian Labs, an Austria-based research center, and TDK Electronics, a German electronic modules and components maker. ZKW is working on two prototypes that combine the micromirror chip and necessary electronics in a single lighting system.
Earlier this year, ZKW partnered with Israeli startup Newsight Imaging to develop an adaptive high beam system. The smart vehicle lighting technology uses sensors to control the direction of the front light to prevent an oncoming car's driver from being temporarily blinded by strong light.
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