ZKW equips new all-electric Volvo C40 with high-tech lights
E-Crossover relies on smart pixel LED headlights in unique design
The new Volvo C40 relies on LED lighting technology from Wieselburg-based automotive specialist ZKW. The headlight of the all-electric electric crossover has a pixel module with 84 individually controllable LEDs. The high-tech light illuminates the road particularly efficiently, adapts dynamically to traffic and avoids dazzling other road users. A front camera and radar permanently scan the road, allowing up to five vehicles to be blanked simultaneously. The design of the high-quality pixel LED light is unique: the hammer-shaped light arc sets visual accents that are distinctive for Volvo. “For Volvo, we develop distinctive headlight designs that impress with their innovative technology and memorable appearance and increase road safety,” explains Dr. Wilhelm Steger, CEO of the ZKW Group.
Smart LED pixel light
The headlight in the new C40 combines daytime running light, position light and turn signal light in a particularly compact form. An adaptive lighting system with camera and radar sensor ensures a high level of road safety by optimally illuminating the road without dazzling oncoming traffic. This is achieved by individually controllable LEDs combined in the pixel module. A front camera and the radar eye detect oncoming vehicles or vehicles in front and activate or deactivate the LED light in the headlamp’s pixel module via the control unit. Despite the compact dimensions of the front headlamp, the system achieves a high light output. The unique LED light was developed in Wieselburg, where the headlight is also manufactured. The pixel module electronics come from the ZKW electronics plant in Wiener Neustadt.
Super-flat projection modules
The powerful light output of the premium headlamp is achieved by the LED pixel module in combination with the innovative ForTIR elements. The so-called light finger ForTIR elements use the apron to project part of the low beam onto the road. These are particularly flat projection modules that are just 13 millimeters high and also serve as design elements in the main headlights. The front headlamp’s light design, typical of Volvo, has the characteristic “Thor’s Hammer” shape, in which special attention was paid to homogeneity. This design element is formed via the light guides and thick-wall optics in front of it, and unmistakably represents the C40 as a Volvo. “The combination of 84-LED pixel module, light finger ForTIR* elements and Thorhammer design is unique to Volvo,” Steger explains.
ZKW equips both the Volvo C40 and XC40 models with premium LED headlights, using the same headlight module as a basis.
* light finger ForTIR = Innovative, very compact design-driven optical element for driving light function as a projection system in combination with totally reflective primary optics as a combined component.