The Smart Light project consists in the development of a car taillight that is smarter than what is currently available on the market. The objective is to overcome the mere signaling function of ordinary rear lights by producing a device that is able to effectively deal with variable weather conditions, so as to always guarantee an optimum lighting for any possible driving situation.
This task has been carried out with the support of OLSA Group, an Italian company specialized in automotive lighting applications. The entire design process has been accomplished accounting for the requirements of the partner company and following the stringent regulations of the automotive industry.
The first activity has consisted in the new electronic design of the taillight, standing that its main functions (namely tail, stop and fog, turn, and reverse) did not change. Using the Audi TT3 rear light as basis, a new layout has been created, including a microcontroller and a DC/DC converter.
In order to detect the environmental conditions, the team has studied a sensor able to produce an output voltage that can be interpreted by the microcontroller. Two alternatives have been analyzed and tested: a device that measures the reflectivity index variation with the medium, and a proximity sensor based on the time-of-flight principle. A software code for the microcontroller has been written so as to modify the LEDs driving by means of a PWM in order to control light intensity as a function of the sensors output.
Finally, thermal simulations on the most sensitive printed circuit boards have been performed under the most critical environmental conditions prescribed by automotive regulations, so as to verify that every component temperature is lower than the limit value reported on the datasheet.
Principal academic Tutor
Marco Masoero, Energy Department, Politecnico di Torino
Giulio Ceppi, Design Department, Politecnico di Milano
Luca Iuliano, Department of Management and Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Franco Maddaleno, Electronic Department, Politecnico di Torino
Antonino Germanotta, OLSA S.p.a.
Alessandro Artoni [Team Controller], Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Mattia Landolfi, Mechatronic Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Mario Murari, Physics Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
Luca Pasqualone, Nanotechnologies for ICTs, Politecnico di Torino
Julien Roux [Communication Coordinator], Mechanical Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Iuliia Timofeeva, Mechatronic Engineering, Politecnico di Torino