Mercedes-Benz MULTIBEAM LED-Scheinwerfer

You may remember that earlier in the year, Mercedes-Benz introduced the facelifted CLS-Class, complete with the firm’s new Multibeam LED headlights with 24 high-performance LEDs on each headlight unit. This allowed for full-time operation of the high-beam function without dazzling other road users by individually controlling certain parts of the beam, in a manner similar to Audi’s Matrix LED headlights.

Just five months later, the company has outdone itself with a showcase of a working prototype headlight, containing a staggering 84 LEDs. Mercedes claims that the higher resolution of the light beam will better shield other motorists from high-beam dazzle, while providing increased forward illumination for the driver.

Adding another couple of tiers of LEDs also allows the digital incorporation of all low- and high-beam functions, negating the need for mechanical actuators to control the headlight unit. This will also enable the addition of new adaptive lighting functions, and should also reduce complexity and maintenance.

Mercedes-Benz MULTIBEAM LED-Scheinwerfer

That’s not all – Mercedes is now working on a new LED chip with up to 1,024 individually-controlable pixels, making for an even higher-resolution light beam. The company plans to install and test such a technology on an experimental vehicle next year, with the goal of production in the near future.

Also planned is an additional High Range LED high-beam, which will be able to project light at a distance of over 600 m. Unlike the laser-powered headlights currently employed by BMW and Audi, Mercedes claims such technology will be able to achieve this performance while keeping costs and complexity at a more manageable level, as well as fully utilising the maximum permissible level of illumination in Europe.