PLYMOUTH, MI — Global automotive lighting and electronics supplier Hella KG Hueck and Co. has received a “Trophy of Excellence” for its technical innovations in the field of electronically-controlled bend lighting.
The award was given by GIPA (the Group of Interprofessionals for Products and Services for Automobiles), an automotive research company based in Italy. GIPA presented the award to Jens Sorensen, Hella’s director of sales and marketing in Europe and overseas, and Angelo Di Viesto, Hella’s managing director for Italian operations, at ceremonies in Milan. The award honors achievements in the automotive aftermarket.
“Hella is the first supplier to put a bend-lighting system into mass production,” said Joe Borruso, president of Hella North America. “The system nearly doubles the range of traditional lighting systems in tight turns by electronically adjusting the beam pattern to correspond to a vehicle’s steering angle. It really enhances vehicle safety.”
A static version of the system was first used in 2002 on the Audi A8. Last spring Hella introduced its dynamic bend-lighting system, which pivots the dipped (low) beam depending on the radius of the curve. The dynamic lighting system is currently available on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Last summer, Hella produced a combined static-dynamic system for Opel’s Signum and Vectra models. Static and dynamic bend lighting also will be available on BMW’s 5-Series and X5 models and on the new Opel Astra, which goes on sale this spring in Europe.
Borruso added that Hella is making progress on a variable intelligent lighting system (VARILIS), which aims headlamps via steering-wheel-angle inputs, providing even more precise illumination at bends and corners. VARILIS improves upon current bend-lighting systems by factoring in speed, weather and road type. Hella also is developing an adaptive braking-signal system, in which brake lights are activated at three levels of intensity, keyed to rates of deceleration.