Swedish car manufacturer relies on uniquely designed LED headlights from ZKW

6 October 2023

The automotive lighting specialist based in Wieselburg is outfitting the brand-new Volvo EX90 electric SUV with premium LED headlights featuring a distinctive design. These headlights are built on digital HD light modules boasting over 1.3 million pixels, enabling precise control of the light pattern on the road. This advanced lighting system dynamically adjusts to traffic conditions and effectively eliminates glare for other road users, contributing significantly to overall road safety for drivers, pedestrians, and wildlife.

One unique feature of these high-quality LED headlights is their ability to make the daytime running lights shine in the iconic hammer-shaped design characteristic of the Volvo brand. When switched to high beam, the daytime running lights split both horizontally and vertically, revealing the primary headlamp. Dr. Wilhelm Steger, CEO of the ZKW Group, emphasizes that this exceptional front lighting, a hallmark of the brand, combines innovative lighting technology with striking design, actively enhancing road safety.

These new SUV headlights represent an evolution of the distinctive headlight design introduced by the brand on the second-generation XC90 in 2015. The LED elements within the daytime running lights form the signature hammer-shaped design, with six light segments making up the head and ten elements composing the stem. When transitioning to the main headlight, the hammer splits horizontally, becoming visible. This movement not only serves to shift from daytime running lights to the main headlight but also emphasizes the vehicle's startup sequence with a "winking" headlight action. Dr. Steger underscores the uniqueness of this animated light feature, which is exclusive to this manufacturer.

The foundation for these headlights is the "Segment Light" light module developed by ZKW, combining matrix high and low beams. The signal light system includes daytime running lights, position lights, and indicators, all in a compact form that matches the striking design. Thanks to innovative kinematics, the movable daytime running light gives the new SUV a distinctive appearance. When the vehicle is unlocked, individual headlight elements flash sequentially before opening to reveal the high beam with a flashing effect. The intelligent headlight was conceived at ZKW's Wieselburg facility and is produced at ZKW locations in Silao, Mexico, and Dalian, China. Dr. Steger notes that sustainability is a priority, with the use of recycled plastic granules and aluminum containing 40% recycled materials.

The development of these high-tech headlights faced several requirements, including withstanding at least 500,000 opening and closing cycles under various environmental conditions. Additionally, the horizontal portion of the daytime running light had to reach its end position within 500 milliseconds to activate the main light functions. Achieving low weight for moving parts while maintaining uniformity in the daytime running light was another challenge addressed by ZKW's dedicated development team to meet the brand's exacting design standards.