How BMW Plans to Test Lighting for its Future Cars

17/05/2023 - 15:47 | BMW,  ,   | IAB Team

BMW's latest testing facility, known as the Light Channel Next, has been established in a former parts warehouse situated in Unterschleißheim near Munich, Germany. This cutting-edge facility provides the Bavarian automaker with a controlled environment for the development of innovative lighting technologies, allowing them to simulate various conditions and scenarios with remarkable accuracy. Currently, it stands as the longest development tool within the BMW Group.

Bmw Light Channel Next

Conveniently located near the Research and Innovation Center in northern Munich, the Light Channel Next spans an impressive length of approximately 433 feet (132 meters) and a width of 72 feet (22 meters). This facility will play a pivotal role in the advancement of future generations of lighting systems, encompassing headlights, daytime running lights, turn signals, and more. It serves as a logical progression in the research and development process following computer-aided simulations.

To enhance the authenticity of simulating diverse road scenarios, the test tunnel incorporates four distinct surfaces. The central area features an artificially aged asphalt surface, achieved through a specialized grinding process. The aim was to replicate the reflective qualities of an actual road surface. Additionally, a section is designated for footpath simulation, while another mimics the coating typically found in underground car parks.

Bmw Car Lights

Within the light tunnel, BMW has the capability to replicate various lighting conditions at any time of the day. This proves invaluable during the evaluation of turn indicators and daytime driving lights, which require assessment under natural daylight conditions. A unique daylight wall enables the generation of different light intensities and color temperatures, ensuring comprehensive testing possibilities.

The operational commencement of the Light Channel Next takes effect immediately. The primary focus for developers will be the integration of highly adaptive headlights. Additionally, BMW's designers are anticipated to be frequent visitors to the facility since "vehicle lights also bear aesthetic significance for all brands within the BMW Group."


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