Adaptive Front Lighting Systems (AFS)
AFS is initially the name of the European Eureka project that was started in 1993. Its main target was to improve regulation as the systems evolved.
Since 2003, legislations has evolved to include Adaptive Front Light Systems (AFS), and is starting to include additional features to improve visibility and safety.
The aim of AFS is to adapt light distribution on to the road to give optimum lighting performance in a range of driving situations. The lighting systems have evolved from traditional light sources in headlamps to more complex designs using module that create several illumination profile.
The first generation of adaptive systems permitted to improve visibility by directing illumination on the road, complementary to this the AFS systems is able to vary the beam cut-off in small increments by using electrical actuator motors.
Lighting modules are able to create dedicated illumination profile (classes) by combining several features such as:
- Right beam motion - horizontal and vertical
- Left beam motion - horizontal and vertical
- Aiming control
- Cut-off diversity
Full Adaptive Front Lighting "Full AFS"
A lot of improvements in vehicles are based on driving comfort and safety, there have been major developments in this filed, such as ABS braking systems, stability controls, air bags, etc. Over the last decade there have been as well significant improvements in lighting systems to improve visibility and braking distances.
Full AFS introduces a new era of light distribution for several typical situations and adapts the beam according to:
- Road type.
- Road conditions.
- Weather conditions.
- Drivers actions (side indicator / steering wheel).
How does it work ?
Traditional low beams using Halogen or Gas Discharge (HID) light sources do not provide sufficient illumination to allow a safe braking distance. For example, the emergency braking distance of a vehicle driving at 100 km/h (60mph) including the human reaction time is at least 50-60 meters.
A standard low beam systems with a cut-off inclination of 1% can provide illumination up to a distance of about 25-30 meters
A new standard was set in 2004 to cope with this need, it defined the concept of "Long-Distance illumination with Glaring (Dazzling) Effects". The aim of long-distance illumination is a new type of low beam which enables continuous illumination for a safe braking distance of approximately 60-70 meters.
An adaptive "cut-off line" provides illumination for a safe braking distance, without causing any dazzling effect on other road users, and enables safe and comfortable night driving.
Valeo's "Full AFS" solution is based on a Tri-function module providing 3 light beams:
- Low Beam
- High Beam
- Motorway Beam
The system is designed to be adaptive by using control signals guided by which are capable of detecting and reacting to each of the following inputs:
- Ambient lighting conditions.
- The light emitted by the front lighting and front signalling systems of oncoming vehicles.
- The light emitted by the rear lighting of preceding vehicles; additional sensors may be used to improve the system's performance.
Full AFS technology allows drivers to benefit from optimum visibility under all conditions, reducing the stress of driving at night and improves visual comfort and safety. The system automatically adapts light distribution according to the position of the preceding and oncoming traffic.