Global automotive lighting market is highly concentrated, and Koito is the champion.
Automotive lighting is a highly concentrated market where bellwethers play a dominant role, that is, there are “one superpower and several powers”. In the global automotive lighting market, European, American and Japanese manufacturers are the main players. In 2020, Japan-based Koito was positioned first with market share of 25.3%, Italy’s Magneti Marelli (13.9%) and France-based Valeo (12.8%) followed, three together sweeping 52% of the global market.
Not to be outdone, Chinese automotive lighting bellwethers have developed dynamically interactive lighting technology in the automotive CASE trend. For example, at Auto Shanghai 2021, HASCO Vision Technology displayed an intelligent interactive lighting system that consists of PML intelligent headlamps and ISD tail lights.
The system can input user-defined texts, pictures and videos into the lighting domain controller which will then convert the content into elements and materials that the lamps can recognize to display the specific content and interact with the outside world. The system is mounted on Human Horizons HiPhi X.
In 2020, Changzhou Xingyu Automotive Lighting Systems also managed to develop rhythmic taillights capable of welcoming, the second-generation ambient lights with public voice interaction function, gesture controlled indoor lamps, and pixel-type headlamp modules.
Automakers play as “lighting factory” to accelerate the layout of intelligent lighting.
To meet market demand, automakers also step up their efforts to deploy intelligent lighting. Audi has made long and frequent deployments in automotive lighting. In June 2020, Audi released New Q5, a new model carrying Audi’s latest intelligent OLED lighting technology, which makes Audi the first automaker digitalizing taillights into a display. Audi is working to develop flexible digital OLED.
Among Chinese automakers, BYD has developed automotive lighting independently since 2003. FinDreams Vision Co., Ltd. BYD established in 2019 is devoted to developing vision technology, motor vehicle lighting and signal system. Having been the first automaker to integrate automotive lighting vertically, BYD is working toward development of new technologies in automotive lighting and environment interconnection.
In addition, Mazda has also developed its adaptive LED headlight (ALH) technology.
As the technology advances, automotive lighting is no longer a simple lighting tool but will integrate with driving assistance functions, for example, combined with cameras to enable safer driving through high and low beam switch according to the objects ahead. In future, more intelligent, more interactive and safer automotive lighting will be demanded in a new age.