TIG's work with Ford Motor Co. and Visteon Automotive Systems on laser-based lighting

Popular Science, December, 1999
"Tail lights haven't changed much over the years. But a new concept from Visteon Automotive Systems, demonstrated this year, will change the way automakers design cars. The system employs red lasers to illuminate thin, clear lenses, eliminating the tail light cavity and parabolic reflectors altogether. As a result, the lights would mold sleekly into the contours of the car body." This concept was selected as one of the 100 top technologies of 1999 by Popular Science magazine."

Ford Motor Company web site, December 1, 1999
"Increased styling flexibility, extra trunk space and reduced manufacturing costs are just a few of the numerous benefits that diode laser technology has to offer."

Yahoo! Finance, November 17, 1999
Visteon Wins Technology Award at SAE Congress in Brazil.
"...Visteon's fiber optic laser technology adds a scintillating sparkle to rear-end and center high mounted lamps while shrinking light assemblies down from over four to just one-half inches wide (thick). The tail lamps are made of transparent plastic and take on the vehicle body color when they are off."

Visteon Press Release, November 9, 1999
"The editors of Popular Science Magazine named the [laser] lighting technology one of the year's 100 best innovations in their 1999 'Best of What's New' award issue....Visteon Automotive Systems' laser-based lighting will reshape vehicle designs in the future and offer customers extraordinary lighting effects. ...'We are honored to receive this award and are gratified that innovations like Visteon's laser lighting technology receive widespread recognition by the scientific community,' said Marcos Oliveira, vice president and chief technology officer, Visteon."

Optics and Photonics News, August, 1999
"To design the automotive lamp of the 21st Century, a team composed of members of Ford Research Laboratory, Visteon Exterior Systems and the Technology Integration Group (TIG) turned to a nontraditional automotive light source: the diode laser....Diode lasers operating in the 635 to 670 nm region of the visible spectrum can have efficiencies (optical power out/electrical power in) of 15 to 20 percent. By comparison, an incandescent lamp has an efficiency of only 1.5 percent."

Photonics Online, March 15, 1999
Diode Lasers May Revolutionize Automotive Lighting.
"High-power diode lasers provide efficient high brightness sources for tail lights and signal lamps while offering automotive design engineers new degrees of freedom....'The new millennia for high-powered diode lasers is automotive,' says Merrill Apter of Coherent, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)....Project engineer Jeff Nold of Visteon is working at the cutting edge of this application. 'Package depth and styling flexibility are huge keys for this project,' he says."

Visteon Press Release, March 1, 1999
"Visteon Automotive Systems and De Tomaso Automobiles, Ltd. took the wraps off the Mangusta technology show vehicle - and their highly successful alliance - at the 1999 Society of Automotive Engineers International Congress and Exposition.... 'This is a perfect example of meeting the technology and timing requirements of the customer by bringing in the expertise of the Visteon divisions for one-stop technology development' said John Quigley, director, Visteon Global Technology Development.... Among those technologies:...Diode Laser Tail Lamps and Diode Laser Center High Mounted Stop Lamps have a jewel-like appearance and faster brake illumination, allowing for additional driver response time in braking situations."

Visteon Press Release, February 23, 1998
"Visteon Automotive Systems unveiled new laser-based lighting technology at the 1998 Society of Automotive Engineers Exhibition - taillamps that will revolutionize rear-end design, increase customer safety, consume less power and virtually eliminate the need to ever replace a taillamp light bulb again.... Developed in conjunction with research engineers from Ford Motor Company, fiber optic laser technology adds a scintillating sparkle to rear-end lamps while shrinking taillight assemblies down from over four to just one-half inches wide (thick).

Our new technology gives designers the flexibility to sculpt the vehicle body in a way that better accommodates the lamps,' explains Michael Marinelli, product engineer, Exterior Systems Division."

Photonics Spectra, November, 1997
"The most significant advantage of the thin-sheet laser lamp is its increased styling flexibility compared with traditional lamps. For example, since these optics consist of transparent plastic, the lamps can take on the car's body color when unlighted.... Additionally thin lamps offer significantly reduced costs by simplifying or eliminating some of the sheet metal stamping and welding operations required for conventional lamps."

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