JP5287121B2 - Vehicle lighting device - Google Patents

Vehicle lighting device Download PDF

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Publication number
JP5287121B2
JP5287121B2 JP2008265549A JP2008265549A JP5287121B2 JP 5287121 B2 JP5287121 B2 JP 5287121B2 JP 2008265549 A JP2008265549 A JP 2008265549A JP 2008265549 A JP2008265549 A JP 2008265549A JP 5287121 B2 JP5287121 B2 JP 5287121B2
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Prior art keywords
road
vehicle
spatial light
light modulator
bright
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JP2010095048A (en
Inventor
千恵 豊田
壮史 野村
徳夫 藤塚
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株式会社豊田中央研究所
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q1/00Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices
    • B60Q1/02Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments
    • B60Q1/04Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments the devices being headlights
    • B60Q1/14Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments the devices being headlights having dimming means
    • B60Q1/1415Dimming circuits
    • B60Q1/1423Automatic dimming circuits, i.e. switching between high beam and low beam due to change of ambient light or light level in road traffic
    • B60Q1/143Automatic dimming circuits, i.e. switching between high beam and low beam due to change of ambient light or light level in road traffic combined with another condition, e.g. using vehicle recognition from camera images or activation of wipers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q1/00Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices
    • B60Q1/02Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments
    • B60Q1/04Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments the devices being headlights
    • B60Q1/06Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments the devices being headlights adjustable, e.g. remotely controlled from inside vehicle
    • B60Q1/08Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments the devices being headlights adjustable, e.g. remotely controlled from inside vehicle automatically
    • B60Q1/085Arrangements or adaptations of optical signalling or lighting devices the devices being primarily intended to illuminate the way ahead or to illuminate other areas of way or environments the devices being headlights adjustable, e.g. remotely controlled from inside vehicle automatically due to special conditions, e.g. adverse weather, type of road, badly illuminated road signs or potential dangers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q9/00Arrangements or adaptations of signal devices not provided for in one of the preceding main groups, e.g. haptic signalling
    • B60Q9/008Arrangements or adaptations of signal devices not provided for in one of the preceding main groups, e.g. haptic signalling for anti-collision purposes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q2300/00Indexing codes for automatically adjustable headlamps or automatically dimmable headlamps
    • B60Q2300/05Special features for controlling or switching of the light beam
    • B60Q2300/054Variable non-standard intensity, i.e. emission of various beam intensities different from standard intensities, e.g. continuous or stepped transitions of intensity
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q2300/00Indexing codes for automatically adjustable headlamps or automatically dimmable headlamps
    • B60Q2300/10Indexing codes relating to particular vehicle conditions
    • B60Q2300/11Linear movements of the vehicle
    • B60Q2300/112Vehicle speed
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q2300/00Indexing codes for automatically adjustable headlamps or automatically dimmable headlamps
    • B60Q2300/10Indexing codes relating to particular vehicle conditions
    • B60Q2300/12Steering parameters
    • B60Q2300/122Steering angle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q2300/00Indexing codes for automatically adjustable headlamps or automatically dimmable headlamps
    • B60Q2300/40Indexing codes relating to other road users or special conditions
    • B60Q2300/41Indexing codes relating to other road users or special conditions preceding vehicle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q2300/00Indexing codes for automatically adjustable headlamps or automatically dimmable headlamps
    • B60Q2300/40Indexing codes relating to other road users or special conditions
    • B60Q2300/42Indexing codes relating to other road users or special conditions oncoming vehicle
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60QARRANGEMENT OF SIGNALLING OR LIGHTING DEVICES, THE MOUNTING OR SUPPORTING THEREOF OR CIRCUITS THEREFOR, FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60Q2300/00Indexing codes for automatically adjustable headlamps or automatically dimmable headlamps
    • B60Q2300/40Indexing codes relating to other road users or special conditions
    • B60Q2300/45Special conditions, e.g. pedestrians, road signs or potential dangers
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S41/00Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps
    • F21S41/60Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps characterised by a variable light distribution
    • F21S41/63Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps characterised by a variable light distribution by acting on refractors, filters or transparent cover plates
    • F21S41/64Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps characterised by a variable light distribution by acting on refractors, filters or transparent cover plates by changing their light transmissivity, e.g. by liquid crystal or electrochromic devices
    • F21S41/645Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps characterised by a variable light distribution by acting on refractors, filters or transparent cover plates by changing their light transmissivity, e.g. by liquid crystal or electrochromic devices by electro-optic means, e.g. liquid crystal or electrochromic devices
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F21LIGHTING
    • F21SNON-PORTABLE LIGHTING DEVICES; SYSTEMS THEREOF; VEHICLE LIGHTING DEVICES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLE EXTERIORS
    • F21S41/00Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps
    • F21S41/60Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps characterised by a variable light distribution
    • F21S41/67Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps characterised by a variable light distribution by acting on reflectors
    • F21S41/675Illuminating devices specially adapted for vehicle exteriors, e.g. headlamps characterised by a variable light distribution by acting on reflectors by moving reflectors

Description

  The present invention relates to a vehicle lighting device.

  Conventionally, in a vehicle lighting system, a high beam headlamp and a low beam headlamp are usually provided. The high beam headlamp can illuminate the front of the vehicle far and is used as a headlight at night. The low beam headlamp is configured to illuminate below the high beam headlamp, and is used as a dazzling prevention headlight when an oncoming vehicle or a vehicle ahead is present.

  In recent years, various lighting systems that project pattern images on a road surface have been developed in order to make a driver or a pedestrian visually recognize (Patent Documents 1 and 2). In the apparatus described in Patent Document 1, in order to provide information to the driver, for example, an arrow for guiding the passing direction of an intersection is projected on the road surface. Moreover, in the apparatus described in Patent Document 2, a circular spotlight formed on the road surface is moved between the vehicle and the pedestrian in order to call attention of a pedestrian who is far away.

  Such an illumination system is provided with a headlamp including a spatial light modulator as a drawing device. In the spatial light modulator, a plurality of pixel portions made up of minute movable mirrors and the like are two-dimensionally arranged. The plurality of pixel units are driven for each pixel unit based on the input image data. The intensity and phase of the light emitted from the light source to the spatial light modulator are modulated for each pixel unit based on the image data. The light subjected to light distribution control by the spatial light modulator is enlarged and projected on the road surface, and an optical image having a predetermined pattern is formed on the road surface.

JP 2005-306337 A JP 2005-324679 A JP-A-8-289237

  However, the conventional illumination system has a problem in that when a light image is formed on a road surface, a pattern formed at a position far from the vehicle extends and a desired pattern cannot be displayed. This image degradation problem occurs mainly due to “trapezoidal distortion”.

  For example, as in Patent Document 2, when a circular spotlight formed on a road surface moves between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the spotlight becomes more blurred as it approaches the pedestrian and deforms into an elliptical shape. . This reduces the visibility on the pedestrian side. In addition, the driver cannot recognize the sense of distance from the pedestrian and feels unnatural.

  Even in a projector apparatus that magnifies and projects image light onto a screen, “trapezoidal distortion” occurs due to an optical path difference from the light source to the screen. In particular, in a rear projector device that magnifies and projects image light from the back onto a transmissive screen, the angle between the screen surface and the image light beam is approximately 30 °, and the image light is projected at a shallow angle with respect to the screen. It becomes a problem.

  In the projector device described in Patent Document 3, a corrected video signal that has been corrected so as to cancel the distortion generated in the display video on the screen in the vertical and horizontal directions is generated, and this corrected video signal is used as a drive signal for the liquid crystal display means. The trapezoidal distortion correction circuit that outputs the error as described above is provided to avoid the occurrence of “trapezoidal distortion”. In this apparatus, the liquid crystal display means corresponds to a drawing device (spatial light modulator).

  However, in the projector device described in Patent Document 3, the pixel size of the drawing device is uniform even though the resolution of the corrected video signal is different for each position on the drawing device. For this reason, strictly speaking, in a portion where the resolution of the input video signal is high, the projected video is blurred because the number of pixels per area is insufficient. On the contrary, in the portion where the resolution of the input video signal is low, the number of pixels per area is too large, resulting in waste.

  In an illumination system for a vehicle, an angle formed by a road surface which is a screen surface and a light beam emitted from a headlamp is about 1 to 5 °, which is very small as compared with a rear projector device, so that trapezoidal distortion is remarkable. Occurs. Therefore, if only the trapezoidal distortion correction is performed, the number of pixels per area of the drawing device is high in a portion where the resolution (angle resolution) of the corrected image signal is high, that is, a portion that generates a light beam irradiated on a road surface far from the vehicle. The desired pattern cannot be displayed without enough.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and an object of the present invention is to project an optical image including a predetermined pattern on the road surface in front of the vehicle, regardless of the distance from the vehicle. An object of the present invention is to provide a vehicular illumination device capable of drawing a pattern having a size.

In order to achieve the above object, the invention described in claim 1 is provided with a display region in which a plurality of types of micromirrors having different reflective surface areas are arranged in a two-dimensional manner, and a bright or dark portion is provided on the road surface in front of the vehicle. A spatial light modulator that displays a pattern image for drawing in the display area and modulates illumination light emitted from a light source for each micromirror according to the displayed pattern image, and is far from the vehicle The area of the reflective surface of the micromirror that modulates the light projected on the side road surface is made smaller than the area of the reflective surface of the micromirror that modulates the light projected on the road surface closer to the vehicle. The pattern image is projected on the road surface by the light projected at different positions on the road surface according to the position of the spatial light modulator and the micromirror in the display area of the spatial light modulator. Spatial light modulator In the case where the bright part is drawn by the pattern image and the pattern image, the bright part drawn on the road surface moves in a direction away from the own vehicle, Each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator is driven so that the area of the micromirror used to draw the bright portion decreases as the bright portion moves away from the own vehicle, and a dark portion is formed by the pattern image. Is drawn, the dark part drawn on the road surface moves in a direction away from the own vehicle, and the area of the micromirror used to draw the dark part decreases as the dark part moves away from the own vehicle. As described above, there is provided a vehicle lighting device comprising: a control unit that drives and controls the spatial light modulator so as to drive each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator.

The invention of claim 2 includes a display area in which a plurality of micromirrors having the same area of the reflecting surface are arranged in a two-dimensional manner, and displays a pattern image for drawing a bright part or a dark part on the road surface in front of the vehicle. A spatial light modulator that modulates the illumination light emitted from the light source according to the displayed pattern image for each micromirror, and the position of the micromirror within the display area of the spatial light modulator. And a light projecting means for projecting the light modulated by the spatial light modulator onto the road surface in front of the vehicle so that the pattern image is projected onto the road surface by light projected at different positions on the road surface. When the light projected on the road surface far from the host vehicle is modulated, the number of micromirrors driven simultaneously modulates the light projected on the road surface closer to the host vehicle. Micromirror driven When each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator is driven so as to be smaller than the number, and when a bright part is drawn by the pattern image, the bright part drawn on the road surface is separated from the own vehicle. Driving each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator so that the area of the micromirror used to draw the bright portion decreases as the bright portion moves away from the vehicle and moves in the direction, When drawing a dark part by the pattern image, the dark part drawn on the road surface moves in a direction away from the own vehicle, and a micromirror used for drawing the dark part as the dark part moves away from the own vehicle. to drive each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator such that the area is reduced, and control means for driving and controlling the spatial light modulator A lighting device for a vehicle.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a display region in which a plurality of types of liquid crystal elements having different areas of transmission surfaces are arranged in a two-dimensional manner, and the display of a pattern image for drawing a bright part or a dark part on the road surface in front of the vehicle A spatial light modulator that is displayed in a region and modulates illumination light emitted from a light source according to the displayed pattern image for each liquid crystal element, and is projected onto a road surface far from the vehicle. A spatial light modulator in which an area of a transmission surface of a liquid crystal element that modulates light is smaller than an area of a transmission surface of a liquid crystal element that modulates light projected on a road surface closer to the own vehicle; Light modulated by the spatial light modulator so that the pattern image is projected onto the road surface by light projected to different positions on the road surface according to the position of the liquid crystal element in the display area of the modulator Projecting means for projecting the light onto the road surface ahead of the vehicle, and the pattern When the bright part is drawn by the image, the bright part drawn on the road surface moves in a direction away from the own vehicle and is used to draw the bright part as the bright part moves away from the own vehicle. When each of the plurality of liquid crystal elements of the spatial light modulator is driven so as to reduce the area of the liquid crystal element, and a dark part is drawn by the pattern image, the dark part drawn on the road surface is separated from the own vehicle. And moving each of the plurality of liquid crystal elements of the spatial light modulator so that the area of the liquid crystal element used to draw the dark part becomes smaller as the dark part moves away from the vehicle. , A vehicle lighting device comprising: a control unit that drives and controls the spatial light modulator .

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a vehicular illumination device including a high beam headlamp for irradiating a high beam and a low beam headlamp for irradiating a low beam, wherein a display region in which a plurality of pixel portions are arranged two-dimensionally is provided. A pattern image for drawing a bright part or a dark part on the road surface in front of the vehicle is displayed in the display area, and the illumination light emitted from the high beam headlamp according to the displayed pattern image is displayed for each pixel unit. And the pattern image is projected onto the road surface by the light projected at different positions on the road surface according to the position of the spatial light modulator that modulates the light and the pixel portion within the display area of the spatial light modulator A light projecting means for projecting the light modulated by the spatial light modulator onto a road surface in front of the vehicle, and the high beam head when the high beam headlamp is not lit. The bright part is drawn by the pattern image, the bright part drawn on the road surface moves away from the own vehicle, and the bright part is drawn as the bright part leaves the own vehicle. When each of the plurality of pixel portions of the spatial light modulator is driven so that the area of the pixel portion used for the light is reduced and the high beam headlamp is lit, a dark portion is drawn by the pattern image. The spatial light modulation is performed so that the dark part drawn on the road surface moves away from the own vehicle and the area of the pixel part used to draw the dark part decreases as the dark part moves away from the own vehicle. Control means for driving and controlling the spatial light modulator so as to drive each of the plurality of pixel portions of the device.

  According to the vehicle lighting device of the present invention, when projecting an optical image including a predetermined pattern on the road surface in front of the vehicle, a pattern having the same shape and size can be drawn regardless of the distance from the vehicle. There is an effect that.

  Hereinafter, an example of an embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings.

<Vehicle lighting system>
FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a state in which an illumination system including a vehicle illumination device according to an embodiment of the present invention is mounted on a vehicle. FIG. 1A is a plan view of the vehicle. Specifically, it is a plan view when a vehicle with a roof omitted is viewed from above. FIG. 1B is a side view of the vehicle. FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of a control system of the lighting system including the vehicle lighting device according to the embodiment of the present invention.

  In this embodiment, in order to call attention of a person who is estimated to be dangerous to the host vehicle and the driver's attention, an illumination system that projects a light image including a predetermined pattern on the road surface to avoid danger is provided. An example to which the vehicular illumination device of the invention is applied will be described. In the following description, a light image projected on the road surface to call attention of a person and a driver is abbreviated as “light image for warning” as appropriate.

  In this lighting system, a person existing in front of the vehicle is detected, the degree of danger of the detected person to the own vehicle is estimated, and the person detected based on the estimated degree of danger is dangerous to the own vehicle. Whether or not. When it is estimated that the vehicle is dangerous, a warning light image is projected on the road surface to alert the person and the driver who are estimated to be dangerous. The alert activation work will be described later.

  As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the illumination system 10 includes a sensor group including a camera 120, a distance sensor 140, a steering angle sensor 150, and a vehicle speed sensor 160, a control device 190 including a microcomputer, a high beam ( HB) a headlamp 110, a low beam (LB) headlamp 180, a lamp driving unit 175H for driving the HB headlamp 110, and a headlight unit including a lamp driving unit 175L for driving the LB headlamp 180. ing.

  The HB headlamp 110 has a wide illumination range and can illuminate the road surface in front of the vehicle in a fan shape up to about 100 m ahead. On the other hand, the LB headlamp 180 used as a headlight for preventing dazzling is configured to illuminate below the HB headlamp 110. For this reason, although the illumination range is narrower than the HB headlamp 110, the road surface ahead of the vehicle can be illuminated up to about 40 m ahead.

  The control device 190 is constituted by a microcomputer including a CPU, a ROM that stores programs for executing various processes, and a RAM that temporarily stores data. The ROM also stores a program for executing a processing routine of “control processing” to be described later. The control device 190 is installed inside the vehicle 100 (central portion).

  When a control device 190 that executes “control processing” to be described later is represented by functional blocks, as shown in FIG. 2, the control device 190 includes a person determination unit 130, a risk estimation unit 170 connected to the person determination unit 130, And a headlamp control unit 172 connected to the risk level estimation unit 170. The headlamp control unit 172 and the headlight unit correspond to the “vehicle lighting device” of the present invention.

  The camera 120 is connected to the person determination unit 130 of the control device 190. Each of the distance sensor 140, the steering angle sensor 150, and the vehicle speed sensor 160 is connected to the risk degree estimation unit 170 of the control device 190. The person determination unit 130 acquires image data from the camera 120. The risk estimation unit 170 acquires a detection signal (distance signal) from the distance sensor 140, acquires a detection signal (steering angle signal) from the steering angle sensor 150, and receives a detection signal indicating the vehicle speed of the vehicle 100 from the vehicle speed sensor 160. get.

  A lamp driving unit 175H and a lamp driving unit 175L are connected to the head lamp control unit 172 of the control device 190, respectively. The headlamp control unit 172 receives an instruction from the risk level estimation unit 170 so as to form a light image for alerting. The headlamp control unit 172 controls each of the HB headlamp 110 and the LB headlamp 180 in order to project a warning light image on the road surface based on an instruction from the risk estimation unit 170. And the generated control signal is output to each of the lamp driver 175H and the lamp driver 175L. In addition, an instruction for turning on or off each of the HB headlamp 110 and the LB headlamp 180 is also input to the headlamp control unit 172 from a lighting switch (not shown).

  The camera 120 is installed at a position near the viewpoint of the driver 200 of the vehicle 100. As the camera 120, for example, an infrared camera such as a near infrared camera or a far infrared camera, or a visible camera is used. The camera 120 captures the front of the vehicle 100 and outputs image data obtained by the capture to the person determination unit 130. In this embodiment, an example in which an infrared camera (a night vision camera) is used as the camera 120 and thermal image data is obtained by shooting will be described.

  The person determination unit 130 detects pedestrians and other vehicles located in front of the host vehicle 100 based on the thermal image data acquired from the camera 120. A person can be detected by detecting the characteristics (for example, temperature and shape) of the person by image processing such as pattern matching based on the thermal image data. The person determination unit 130 outputs a person detection result to the risk level estimation unit 170. On the other hand, the vehicle can detect the vehicle by detecting a headlight in the case of an oncoming vehicle and a taillight in the case of a preceding vehicle.

  The distance sensor 140 is installed at the center of the front end portion of the vehicle 100. As the distance sensor 140, for example, a millimeter wave radar is used. The distance sensor 140 detects a distance to a person (hereinafter referred to as “detected person”) detected by the person determination unit 130. From the detected distance, the relative movement speed and relative position of the detected person can be obtained. Here, the relative position of the detected person is represented by the distance from the own vehicle 100 to the detected person and the direction in which the detected person is located with respect to the own vehicle 100.

  The steering angle sensor 150 is installed in the vicinity of the steering. The steering angle sensor 150 detects the steering angle of the steering. From the detected steering angle, the moving direction of the host vehicle 100 can be obtained. The steering angle sensor 150 outputs the detected steering angle data to the risk level estimation unit 170 as a steering angle signal.

  The vehicle speed sensor 160 is installed in the vicinity of the front wheels. The vehicle speed sensor 160 detects the rotational speed of the wheel. From the detected number of rotations of the wheel, the moving speed of the host vehicle 100 can be obtained. The vehicle speed sensor 160 outputs a detection signal to the risk estimation unit 170.

  The risk estimation unit 170 calculates the relative movement speed and the relative movement direction of the detected person with respect to the host vehicle 100 based on the distance signal from the distance sensor 140. Based on the calculated relative movement speed of the detected person and the detection signal from the vehicle speed sensor 160, the movement speed of the detected person is calculated from the difference between the calculated movement speed of the own vehicle 100. Further, based on the calculated relative movement direction of the detected person and the steering angle signal from the steering angle sensor 150, the movement direction of the detected person is calculated from the difference between the calculated movement direction of the own vehicle 100. .

  Further, the danger level estimation unit 170 calculates the danger level of the detected person with respect to the own vehicle 100 based on the calculated movement speed and direction of the own vehicle 100 and the calculated movement speed and direction of the detected person. presume. Further, the risk level estimation unit 170 estimates whether or not the detected person is dangerous with respect to the host vehicle 100 by comparing the estimated risk level with a reference value. Then, when it is estimated that the person detected by the person determination unit 130 is dangerous, the danger level estimation unit 170 outputs an instruction to form a warning light image to the headlamp control unit 172.

  The headlamp control unit 172 controls each of the HB headlamp 110 and the LB headlamp 180 in order to project a warning light image on the road surface based on an instruction from the risk estimation unit 170. And the generated control signal is output to each of the lamp driver 175H and the lamp driver 175L. Further, based on an instruction input by the driver 200 by operating a lighting switch (not shown), a control signal for turning on or off each of the HB headlamp 110 and the LB headlamp 180 is generated, and the generated control is generated. The signal is output to each of the lamp driver 175H and the lamp driver 175L. Based on the input control signal, the HB headlamp 110 is driven to be lit by the lamp driver 175H, and the LB headlamp 180 is lit to be driven by the lamp driver 175L.

  In the present embodiment, a case will be described in which a light image for alerting is projected on the road surface by the HB headlamp 110. That is, each of the HB head lamp 110 and the LB head lamp 180 is controlled based on the control signal generated by the head lamp control unit 172, and each lamp is turned on or off, and the HB head lamp 110 described later is also turned on. Light that is projected onto the road surface over time in the high-beam illumination area, with the spatial light modulator driven and controlled to control the shape, formation position, blinking state, etc. of the pattern included in the attention light image The image changes.

  For example, the HB headlamp 110 is turned on to alert a dark part (black pattern) whose brightness is lower than that of the high beam irradiated part to move from the vehicle toward the person on the road surface illuminated by the high beam headlight. An optical image can be projected.

  The HB headlamp 110 is installed symmetrically on both sides of the front end portion of the vehicle 100. The HB headlamp 110a is installed on the left side facing the front of the vehicle, and the HB headlamp 110b is installed on the right side. In addition, when it is not necessary to distinguish right and left, it is generically called the HB headlamp 110.

  The LB headlamps 180 are installed symmetrically on both sides of the front end portion of the vehicle 100. The LB headlamp 180 is installed outside the HB headlamp 110. The LB headlamp 180a is installed on the left side facing the front of the vehicle, and the LB headlamp 180b is installed on the right side. When there is no need to distinguish between left and right, they are collectively referred to as LB headlamp 180.

  In the present embodiment, a four-lamp headlight unit provided with two left and right HB headlamps 110 and two left and right LB headlamps 180 will be described. However, a lamp capable of switching between a high beam and a low beam is described. As a configuration, a two-lamp headlight unit may be used.

  The light emitted from the HB headlamp 110 or the LB headlamp 180 may be light that can be recognized by a person or a driver. Usually, white light or visible light is used, but is not limited thereto. For example, when it is sufficient that only the driver can recognize, infrared light or ultraviolet light can be used. However, when using infrared light or ultraviolet light, it is necessary to further provide a device such as a head-mounted display that allows the driver to recognize infrared light or ultraviolet light so that the driver can recognize it. is there.

<HB headlamp>
Next, the HB headlamp which is the main part of the vehicle lighting device will be described. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing the configuration of the HB headlamp. As shown in FIG. 3, the HB headlamp 110 includes a light source 111, a spherical mirror 112 disposed in the vicinity of the rear of the light source 111, a condensing lens 113 disposed on the optical axis of the spherical mirror 112 in front of the light source 111, and a condensing lens. 113 includes a reflective spatial light modulator 114 disposed at an image forming position 113 and a light projecting lens 115 disposed on the light reflection side of the spatial light modulator 114. Each part of the HB headlamp 110 is arranged so as to illuminate a road surface approximately 100 m ahead of the vehicle.

  As the light source 111, a high-intensity light source such as a halogen lamp, a high-intensity discharge lamp called an HID (High Intensity Discharge) bulb, or a light emitting diode (LED) can be used. As the reflective spatial light modulator 114, a MEMS mirror device including a plurality of minute movable mirrors arranged in a two-dimensional form and independently driven as a pixel portion can be used. In this embodiment, a case where a MEMS mirror device is used as the reflective spatial light modulator 114 will be described. Hereinafter, the spatial light modulator 114 is appropriately referred to as “MEMS mirror 114”.

  In this embodiment, an example in which a reflective spatial light modulator is used will be described. However, an HB headlamp can also be configured by using a transmissive spatial light modulator. Further, as the reflective spatial light modulator, a liquid crystal display device including a plurality of liquid crystal elements that are two-dimensionally arranged and can be independently driven as a pixel portion can be used. As the liquid crystal display device, an LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) type spatial light modulator that directly controls the voltage of each liquid crystal element can be used.

  The MEMS mirror 114 is a mirror device configured by forming, on the memory cell 114B, a mirror array 114A in which a plurality of micromirrors are arranged in a matrix. The plurality of micromirrors of the MEMS mirror have the same size and a square reflecting surface, and are arranged in a grid pattern. Each of the micromirrors constitutes each pixel portion (pixel) of the MEMS mirror 114. In order to draw the same pattern regardless of the distance from the vehicle, the shape, number and arrangement of the micromirrors are important. These will be described in detail later.

  The memory cell 114B is provided with an SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) cell corresponding to each of the plurality of micromirrors. Each pixel portion is provided with a micromirror that is operably supported on a support column at the top, and an SRAM cell is disposed directly below the micromirror via a structure that tilts the micromirror.

  When a digital signal is input to each SRAM cell of the memory cell 114B, the angle of the reflection surface of the corresponding micromirror is controlled within a range of several degrees according to the digital signal. Here, the contrast of the pixel of the image data is made to correspond to on / off of the digital signal, the reflection surface is tilted to α degree in the on state (bright pixel), and the reflection surface is β degree (≠ α degree) in the off state (dark pixel). Suppose you tilt it. The light incident on the micromirror in the on state is reflected in the direction of the light projecting lens 115 and is projected onto the road surface by the light projecting lens 115. On the other hand, the light incident on the micromirror in the off state is reflected in a direction different from that of the light projecting lens 115 and is absorbed by an absorber (not shown).

  Next, the operation of the entire HB headlamp 110 will be described. In the HB headlamp 110, the light source 111 is turned on by the lamp driving unit 175H based on a lighting instruction from the headlamp control unit 172. The light emitted from the light source 111 is reflected by the spherical mirror 112 toward the front side of the light source 111. The light reflected by the spherical mirror 112 is collected by the condenser lens 113 and irradiated on the MEMS mirror 114.

  In the steady state, all the micromirrors of the MEMS mirror 114 are turned on, and the MEMS mirror 114 is set to function as a reflection mirror. The light irradiated on the MEMS mirror 114 is reflected by the MEMS mirror 114 in the direction of the light projecting lens 115 and is projected onto the road surface by the light projecting lens 115. Thereby, the illumination area of the HB headlamp 110 is illuminated with the high beam headlight.

  On the other hand, when forming a light image for alerting, each of the micromirrors of the MEMS mirror 114 is driven and controlled according to the image data. A plurality of types of image data are stored in advance in the ROM of the control device 190 in order to form a light image for alerting according to the lighting state of the headlamp. The headlamp control unit 172 reads out image data corresponding to the lighting state of the headlamp based on an instruction from the risk estimation unit 170, and outputs a control signal for controlling each micromirror of the MEMS mirror 114 of the HB headlamp 110. The generated control signal is output to the lamp driving unit 175H.

  The lamp driver 175H inputs a drive signal to the MEMS mirror 114 based on the input control signal. That is, a digital signal corresponding to each SRAM cell of the memory cell 114B is input. Thereby, the angles of the reflecting surfaces of the plurality of micromirrors are respectively controlled, and the micromirror corresponding to the bright pixel of the image data is turned on, and the micromirror corresponding to the dark pixel is turned off.

  The light irradiated on the micromirror in the on state of the MEMS mirror 114 is reflected in the direction of the light projecting lens 115 and is projected by the light projecting lens 115, and a bright pixel (light irradiating unit) is formed on the road surface in front of the vehicle. Is formed. On the other hand, the light applied to the micromirror in the OFF state of the MEMS mirror 114 is reflected in a direction different from that of the projection lens 115 and is absorbed by an absorber (not shown). Non-irradiated part) is formed. Thus, on the road surface in front of the vehicle, an attention light image having a predetermined light / dark pattern is formed in the high beam illumination area.

<LB headlamp>
Next, the LB headlamp of the vehicle lighting device will be described. FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram showing the configuration of the LB headlamp. As shown in FIG. 4, the LB headlamp 180 includes a light source 181, a spherical mirror 182 disposed in the vicinity of the rear of the light source 181, and a light projecting lens 183 disposed on the optical axis of the spherical mirror 182 in front of the light source 181. Yes. Each part of the LB headlamp 180 is arranged to illuminate the road surface up to about 40 m ahead of the vehicle.

  In the LB head lamp 180, the light source 181 is turned on by the lamp driving unit 175L based on a lighting instruction from the head lamp control unit 172. The light emitted from the light source 181 is reflected by the spherical mirror 182 toward the front of the light source 181. The light reflected by the spherical mirror 182 enters the light projecting lens 183 and is projected onto the road surface by the light projecting lens 183. Thereby, the illumination area of the LB headlamp 180 is illuminated with the low beam headlight.

<Danger avoidance operation of lighting system>
Here, the danger avoidance operation in the illumination system of the present embodiment will be described. FIG. 5 is a flowchart illustrating a processing routine of control processing performed by the CPU of the control device 190. This control process is executed when a power supply (not shown) is turned on in the lighting system. Steps S100 to S104 and S114 of the following processing routine are executed by the person determination unit 130, and steps S106 to S112 and S116 to S122 are executed by the risk estimation unit 170.

  First, in step S100, the camera 120 is driven, and a thermal image obtained by photographing in front of the host vehicle 100 is acquired as thermal image data. In the next step S102, a person located in front of the host vehicle 100 is detected based on the thermal image data. In the next step S104, it is determined whether or not a person has been detected in step S102. If a negative determination is made, the process returns to step S100 to continue detection of the person, and if an affirmative determination is made, the process proceeds to the next step S106.

  In step S106, the distance signal output from the distance sensor 140 is acquired, and the calculation of the relative movement speed and the relative position of the person (detected person) detected in step 102 with respect to the host vehicle 100 is started. In the next step S108, the steering angle signal output from the steering angle sensor 150 is acquired, the calculation of the movement direction of the host vehicle 100 is started, and the movement speed of the host vehicle 100 detected by the vehicle speed sensor 160 is indicated. A detection signal is acquired and calculation of the moving speed of the host vehicle 100 is started.

  Next, in step S110, the moving speed and moving direction of the detected person are calculated based on the calculated moving direction and moving speed of the host vehicle 100 and the relative moving speed and relative position of the detected person. Based on the calculated moving speed and moving direction of the detected person and the calculated moving direction and moving speed of the own vehicle 100, the degree of danger of the detected person with respect to the own vehicle 100 is estimated. Then, by comparing the estimated risk level with a preset reference value, it is estimated whether or not the detected person is dangerous with respect to the own vehicle 100.

  If it is estimated in step S110 that there is no danger, the process returns to step S100 and the above-described processing is repeated. On the other hand, if it is estimated to be dangerous, the process proceeds to the next step S112. In step S112, based on the relative movement speed and relative position of the person estimated to be dangerous in step S110 (hereinafter referred to as "monitoring person"), the vehicle lighting device for the driver 200 and the monitoring person is required. Instruct to start the alerting action using (headlight part). In addition, the procedure of the alerting activation work using the vehicle lighting device will be described in detail later.

  Next, in step S114, it is determined whether or not the person requiring monitoring has noticed the approach of the host vehicle 100 and avoided the danger by the alerting action performed in step S112. For example, if it is detected from the thermal image data detected by the camera 120 that the person to be monitored is stationary, moved in a direction to avoid danger, etc., it is determined that the danger has been avoided. On the other hand, if it is detected that the person to be monitored is not moving still but moving in the same direction, it is determined that the danger is not avoided. If it is determined that the danger is avoided, the process returns to step S100 and the above-described process is repeated. On the other hand, if it is determined that the danger is not avoided, the process proceeds to the next step S116.

  Next, in step S116, it is determined whether the driver 200 notices the approach of a person and avoids danger. For example, when the driver 200 reduces the speed of the host vehicle 100 or changes the traveling direction, the risk level of the person requiring monitoring decreases, and it is estimated that the person requiring monitoring is not dangerous with respect to the host vehicle 100. If it is, it is determined that the danger has been avoided. Then, an instruction is issued to stop the alert activation work, and the process returns to step S100 to repeat the process described above.

  On the other hand, if it is estimated in step S110 that the risk of the person requiring monitoring does not decrease and is still dangerous, it is determined that the danger is not avoided, and the process proceeds to step S118. In step S118, in order to notify the driver 200 that a person is approaching the host vehicle 100, an instruction to issue an alarm is output to an alarm device (not shown).

  Next, in step S120, it is determined whether or not the driver 200 has noticed the approach of a person and avoided the danger based on the alarm issued by the alarm device in step S118. For example, when the driver 200 reduces the speed of the host vehicle 100 or changes the traveling direction, the risk level of the person requiring monitoring decreases, and it is estimated that the person requiring monitoring is not dangerous with respect to the host vehicle 100. If so, it is determined that the danger has been avoided, and the process returns to step S100 to repeat the process described above. On the other hand, if it is estimated that the risk of the person requiring monitoring with respect to the host vehicle 100 does not decrease and is still dangerous, it is determined that the danger is not avoided, and the process proceeds to the next step S122.

  In step S122, an instruction is output to a vehicle speed control unit (not shown) that controls the vehicle speed of the host vehicle 100 so as to decelerate to a predetermined speed in order to decrease the speed of the host vehicle 100. Thereby, the speed of the own vehicle 100 is decelerated to a predetermined speed, and the possibility that the person who is estimated to be dangerous and the own vehicle 100 collide can be reduced. And it returns to step S100 and repeats the process demonstrated above.

<Example of optical image formation for alerting>
Here, an example of forming an optical image for alerting will be specifically described. In the present embodiment, different light images for alerting are formed when the HB headlamp 110 is lit and when the HB headlamp 110 is not lit. As described above, these light images are driven and controlled by turning on the light source 111 of the HB headlamp 110 and driving each micromirror of the MEMS mirror 114 based on the control signal generated by the headlamp control unit 172 of the control device 190. Thus, the light irradiated from the HB headlamp 110 is formed in the high beam illumination region.

  FIG. 6 is a diagram showing an example of a light image for alerting formed when high beam is not irradiated. 6A is a plan view when the optical image is formed as viewed from above, and FIG. 6B is a side view when the optical image is formed as viewed from the side. . This light image for alerting is formed when the HB headlamp 110 is not lit. In this example, the LB headlamp 180 is turned on, and the illumination area of the LB headlamp 180 is illuminated with a low beam headlight.

  As shown in FIG. 6, the irradiation light 300 is irradiated from the HB headlamp 110 onto the road surface in the high beam illumination area, and a single irradiation pattern 400 </ b> W is formed on the road surface 700. That is, the HB headlamp 110 is not lit and the road surface 700 in the illumination area is dark. Irradiation light 300 is irradiated onto the dark road surface 700, and a circular spotlight with high brightness emerges as an irradiation pattern 400W. The display of the irradiation pattern 400W alerts both the driver 200 and the person 500. The irradiation pattern 400W is a bright part composed of bright pixels formed on the road surface corresponding to the micromirrors in the on state of the MEMS mirror.

  The irradiation position of the road surface 700 by the irradiation light 300 is moved from the own vehicle 100 toward the person 500. Thereby, the irradiation pattern 400W formed by the irradiation light 300 moves from the own vehicle 100 toward the person 500 on the road surface. The moving direction of the irradiation position indicates the direction from the own vehicle 100 to the person 500. The moving direction of the irradiation position is indicated by an arrow as “traveling direction of irradiation light”.

  The irradiation light 300 moves from the own vehicle 100 toward the person 500. In the present embodiment, irradiation pattern 400W is formed with the same shape and size every time, regardless of the distance from vehicle 100. That is, the irradiation pattern 400W formed on the road surface 700 has a circular shape having the same diameter each time.

  The driver 200 tries to focus on what is instinctively moving and what is noticeable. This is called an attractive effect. The movement of the irradiation pattern 400W has a high effect of attracting the driver 200, and has a high effect of recognizing the person 500 estimated to be dangerous. The attractive effect can be further enhanced by increasing the shape of the irradiation pattern 400W, increasing the moving speed of the irradiation pattern 400W, or shortening the blinking cycle of the irradiation pattern 400W.

  When viewed from the person 500, it appears that a single spotlight is coming from the vehicle 100 toward the person 500 at a high speed. If the movement speed of the irradiation pattern 400W is too fast, the person 500 feels fear and may take a delay in taking an avoidance action. In such a case, the fear of the person 500 may be alleviated by reducing the movement speed of the irradiation pattern 400W, increasing the blinking cycle of the irradiation pattern 400W, or simultaneously forming a plurality of irradiation patterns 400W. it can.

  FIG. 7 is a diagram showing an example of a light image for alerting formed at the time of high beam irradiation. FIG. 7A is a plan view when the optical image is formed as viewed from above, and FIG. 7B is a side view when the optical image is formed as viewed from the side. . This light image for alerting is formed when the HB headlamp 110 is lit. The illumination area of the HB headlamp 110 is illuminated with a high beam headlight.

  As shown in FIG. 7, the irradiation light 300 is irradiated from the HB headlamp 110 except for a part on the road surface in the high beam illumination region, and a single black pattern 400 </ b> B is formed on the road surface 700. That is, the HB headlamp 110 is turned on, and the road surface 700 in the illumination area is illuminated with a high beam. By providing a circular light non-irradiated portion (dark portion) where the irradiation light 300 is not irradiated on the road surface 700 that is brightly illuminated by the high beam, the circular dark portion emerges as a black pattern 400B.

  The display of the black pattern 400B alerts both the driver 200 and the person 500. Further, the black pattern 400B is a circular dark part having lightness lower than that of the high beam irradiated part. The black pattern 400B is composed of dark pixels formed on the road surface corresponding to the micromirrors in the off state of the MEMS mirror. By using the black pattern 400B instead of the irradiation pattern composed of bright pixels, the pattern can be displayed also on the road surface 700 illuminated brightly with a high beam.

  The light non-irradiation position where the irradiation light 300 is not irradiated on the road surface 700 is moved from the own vehicle 100 toward the person 500. Thereby, the black pattern 400B moves from the own vehicle 100 toward the person 500 on the road surface 700 illuminated with the high beam. The moving direction of the light non-irradiation position indicates the direction from the own vehicle 100 to the person 500. In addition, the moving direction of the light non-irradiation position is indicated by an arrow as “advancing direction of blackening”.

  In the present embodiment, the black pattern 400B is formed with the same shape and size every time regardless of the distance from the vehicle 100. That is, the black pattern 400B formed on the road surface 700 has a circular shape having the same diameter each time.

  By displaying the black pattern 400B, the same effect as when the irradiation pattern 400W is displayed can be obtained. By moving the black pattern 400B, as in the case of moving the irradiation pattern 400W, the effect of attracting the driver 200 is enhanced, and the effect of recognizing the person 500 estimated to be dangerous is enhanced. Also in the case of moving the black pattern 400B, the effect of attracting the driver 200 can be further enhanced by the same device as in the case of moving the irradiation pattern 400W, and the influence on the person 500 can be reduced.

  In the example shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the pattern shapes of the irradiation pattern 400W and the black pattern 400B are circular, but the pattern shape is not limited to a circle. Any shape such as a triangle, a square, a rectangle, a star, an arrow, a character, and a symbol can be used as long as the driver 200 can recognize them.

<Awareness launch using a vehicle lighting device>
Next, the alerting activation work using the vehicle lighting device will be described. FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing a subroutine of attention calling processing performed by the CPU of the control device 190. This subroutine is executed by the headlamp control unit 172 at the same time when the start of the alert activation work is instructed in step S112 of FIG. As described above, the ROM of the control device 190 stores a plurality of types of image data in advance in order to form a light image for alerting according to the lighting state of the headlamp. In the present embodiment, a case will be described in which two types of image data are stored in advance in order to form a light image for alerting shown in FIG. 6 or FIG.

  First, in step S200, it is determined whether or not the HB headlamp 110 is lit. If an affirmative determination is made, the process proceeds to step S202 to select image data for dark area drawing. That is, when the road surface 700 in the illumination area of the HB headlamp 110 is illuminated with a high beam, image data for forming a light image including the black pattern 400B shown in FIG. 7 is selected.

  On the other hand, if a negative determination is made in step S200, the process proceeds to step S204 to select bright portion drawing image data. That is, when the road surface 700 in the illumination area of the HB headlamp 110 is not illuminated with a high beam, image data for forming an optical image including the irradiation pattern 400W shown in FIG. 6 is selected. Hereinafter, the irradiation pattern 400W and the black pattern 400B are collectively referred to as a projection pattern 400.

  Next, in step S206, the selected image data is read from the ROM of the control device 190. In the next step S208, a plurality of images are obtained by performing trapezoidal distortion correction on the read image data so that a projection pattern 400 having the same shape and the same size is formed on the road surface regardless of the distance from the vehicle. Generate data. Since the angle θ formed by the road surface 700, which is the screen surface, and the irradiation light 300 is as small as about + 1 ° to −5 °, trapezoidal distortion significantly occurs. Therefore, trapezoidal distortion correction is indispensable in order to form a projection pattern 400 having the same shape and the same size on the road surface regardless of the distance from the vehicle. The trapezoidal distortion correction method will be described in detail next.

  For example, when the angle θ formed by the irradiation light 300 and the road surface 700 is −6 °, the MEMS mirror 114 of the HB headlamp 110 shown in FIG. 3 is driven and controlled to project a desired shape and size on the road surface. Assume that image data necessary for projecting the pattern 400 is stored. In this case, in step S208, a plurality of pieces of image data in which trapezoidal distortion correction is performed according to the angle θ is generated for each irradiation position where the projection pattern 400 is formed. For example, in the example of the optical image shown in FIG. 6, four types of image data corrected for trapezoidal distortion are generated according to the case where the angle θ is −5 °, −3 °, and −1 ° −0.1 °. .

  As for the angle θ, a case where the upper side of the irradiation light traveling parallel to the road surface 700 is irradiated is a plus display, and a case where the lower side is irradiated is a minus display. Only when the angle θ is negative, the irradiation light 300 is irradiated on the road surface 700. The position on the road surface 700 where the projection pattern 400 is formed becomes farther from the vehicle 100 as the absolute value of the angle θ is smaller.

  By performing the trapezoidal distortion correction on the image data, the trapezoidal distortion of the projection pattern 400 is eliminated. However, the number of micromirrors per area of the MEMS mirror 114 is usually constant. For this reason, the number of micromirrors used to form the projection pattern 400 decreases as the compressed portion distorted in the reverse direction by the trapezoidal distortion correction increases the resolution of the image data. As a result, the further away from the vehicle 100, the lower the resolution of the image projected on the road surface 700.

  Therefore, in step 210, one pixel of the image data is set according to the irradiation position of the irradiation light 300 (that is, the magnitude of the angle θ) so as to eliminate the resolution mismatch caused by the trapezoidal distortion correction. The number and arrangement of micromirrors of the MEMS mirror 114 to be associated are changed, and a drive signal for driving and controlling the MEMS mirror 114 is generated according to each of the plurality of image data. A method for eliminating the resolution mismatch will be described in detail later. In the following step 212, the generated drive signal is output to the lamp driver 175H that drives the HB headlamp 110 to light, and the routine is terminated.

<Keystone distortion and keystone correction>
Next, trapezoidal distortion and a correction method thereof will be described.
As described above, for example, when the angle θ formed by the irradiation light 300 and the road surface 700 is −6 °, it is assumed that image data capable of projecting a circular irradiation pattern 400 having a desired size is stored. In the case where the trapezoidal distortion correction is not performed, a significant trapezoidal distortion occurs in the irradiation pattern 400 when the irradiation position of the irradiation light 300 becomes far and the angle θ decreases.

  As shown in FIG. 9, even when the MEMS mirror 114 is driven and controlled with the same image data as when the angle θ is −6 °, the irradiation pattern 400 becomes more blurred as the irradiation position of the irradiation light 300 becomes farther. Its shape is transformed into an ellipse. For example, when the angle θ is −5 °, the ellipse is slightly longer in the traveling direction of the irradiation light. When this is θ = −3 ° or θ = −1 °, the shape of the irradiation pattern 400 is an ellipse that extends long in the traveling direction of the irradiation light, and the size of the irradiation pattern 400 is θ = −6 °. The image is enlarged several times to several tens of times, and the outline becomes blurred.

  FIGS. 10A to 10C are diagrams for explaining a method for correcting trapezoidal distortion. FIG. 10A shows a display image D of the MEMS mirror based on the image data before correction. FIG. 10B is a projection image P obtained by projecting the display image D onto the road surface. FIG. 10C is a diagram showing a display image DH of the MEMS mirror based on the image data corrected for trapezoidal distortion.

  As shown in FIG. 10A, in the rectangular mirror array 114A of the MEMS mirror 114, a plurality of micro mirrors 114M are arranged in a grid pattern. One micromirror 114M (1 pixel) is shown by hatching. The mirror array 114A serves as a display area for displaying an image corresponding to the image data by turning on and off the plurality of micromirrors 114M. The display image D is displayed on the mirror array 114A of the MEMS mirror 114 by controlling the driving of each micromirror 114M according to the image data.

In this example, black patterns D 1 and D 2 having the same shape and the same size are displayed in the display image D. Black open pattern D 1 and D 2 are a 4 pixel length of its one side in a square, the same shape and the same size. The black pattern in the display image D of the MEMS mirror 114 is a set of micromirrors 114M in an off state. The other micromirrors 114M are on. Each of the black open pattern D 1 and D 2 are displayed at different positions of the mirror array 114A.

  The example in which the two black patterns are displayed is to make it easy to understand how trapezoidal distortion occurs, and a single black pattern 400B is obtained as in the example shown in FIG. For this purpose, one black pattern is displayed in the display image.

When the angle θ formed by the irradiation light 300 and the road surface 700 is different from the set angle (here, −6 °), trapezoidal distortion occurs. As shown in FIG. 10B, when the display image D is projected on the road surface 700 as it is, a trapezoidal projection image P having a wider width as the distance from the vehicle 100 increases is obtained. The projected image P includes black patterns P 1 and P 2 having different shapes and sizes. The black pattern in the projection image P is a dark part (non-light irradiation part) composed of dark pixels corresponding to the micromirror 114M in the off state. A high-beam headlight is irradiated around the black pattern corresponding to the micromirrors in the on state.

Depending on the position of the micromirror 114M in the mirror array 114A of the MEMS mirror 114, the irradiation angle θ of the reflected light (irradiated light) from the micromirror 114M differs, and the reflected light is irradiated at different positions on the road surface 700. A black pattern P 1 is formed at a position close to the vehicle 100 corresponding to the black pattern D 1 (for example, an angle θ = −5 °), and a position farther from the vehicle 100 corresponding to the black pattern D 2 ( For example, the angle theta = -3 °) black open pattern P 2 is formed. Black open pattern P 1 is substantially the same shape and size as the black open pattern in the display image D. In contrast, the black opening pattern P 2 is deformed into a trapezoid in which the slow, is more than twice the size of the black open pattern P 1.

As shown in FIG. 10C, the display image DH is displayed on the mirror array 114A of the MEMS mirror 114 according to the image data after the trapezoidal distortion correction. In the display image DH, it is displayed with a black open pattern DH 1 and DH 2. By the trapezoidal distortion correction, black removed pattern D 1 of the display image D is deformed in a black open pattern DH 1, black removed pattern D 2 of the display image D is deformed in a black open pattern DH 2. By displaying the display image DH, it is possible to obtain a projection image P obtained by enlarging and projecting the display image D without distortion.

  That is, the trapezoidal distortion correction is to correct the original image data in advance so as to obtain a projection image P obtained by enlarging and projecting the display image D without distortion. With respect to the trapezoidal projection image P obtained by projecting the display image D, a portion where trapezoid distortion occurs is distorted in the reverse direction in advance to obtain a display image DH. Specifically, the trapezoidal projection image P is turned upside down and reduced so that the length of the upper base becomes equal to the length of the long side of the display image D, and the display area (thick line) of the trapezoidal reduced image is displayed. The image is displayed on the mirror array 114A so as to include the portion displayed in (5), and the image data is corrected so that the micromirrors 114M other than the display area of the reduced image are turned on.

  By correcting the image data so that the micromirrors 114M other than the reduced image display area are turned on, the entire display area (mirror array 114A) of the MEMS mirror 114 is used, and the entire area of the high beam illumination area is illuminated. An image can be formed. In other words, the projection range extends in a fan shape up to about 100 m ahead of the vehicle, and covers the low beam and high beam illumination areas, so that it can simultaneously function as a headlight.

<Resolution mismatch and correction>
Next, resolution mismatch caused by trapezoidal distortion correction will be described. As can be seen from a comparison between FIGS. 10A and 10C, the shape and size of the black pattern in the display image of the mirror array 114A change due to the trapezoidal distortion correction of the image data. For example, a square black pattern D 1 having a side length of 4 pixels is changed to a slightly distorted rectangular black pattern DH 1 having a short side of about 1 pixel and a long side of about 2 pixels. Black open pattern D 1 which has been displayed in sixteen micromirrors 114M of the mirror array 114A is corrected will be displayed in two micromirrors 114M.

  As described above, the compressed portion distorted in the reverse direction by the trapezoidal distortion correction reduces the number of micromirrors used and the resolution of the image projected on the road surface even though the resolution of the image data is higher. Will be reduced. Therefore, in the example of the optical image of FIGS. 6 and 7, even after the trapezoidal distortion correction, the resolution decreases as the irradiation position of the irradiation light 300 becomes far (the angle θ decreases), and the projection pattern 400 becomes blurred. The pattern is unclear. This makes it impossible to form projection patterns 400 having substantially the same size and shape.

  In the present embodiment, when generating the control signal, an image is generated in accordance with the irradiation position (that is, the magnitude of the angle θ) of the irradiation light 300 so that the resolution mismatch caused by the trapezoidal distortion correction is eliminated. A drive signal is generated so that the number of micromirrors 114M of the MEMS mirror 114 driven corresponding to one pixel of data is substantially equal. In this way, by changing the number and arrangement of the pixel units that are driven corresponding to one pixel of the image data according to the irradiation position, the resolution of the projection image becomes substantially equal regardless of the distance from the vehicle, Projection patterns having substantially the same shape and the same size are formed on the road surface.

  FIG. 11 is a schematic diagram for explaining a method of eliminating resolution mismatch. In FIG. 11, the reflective spatial light modulator is replaced with a transmissive spatial light modulator, but the incident light and the reflected light to the reflective spatial light modulator are used as one light beam. This is equivalent to the case shown in the figure. In FIG. 11, the reflection type spatial light modulator is schematically arranged outside the vehicle, but actually, the spatial light modulator (MEMS mirror) 114 constitutes a part of the HB headlamp 110. doing.

  As shown in FIG. 11, when trapezoidal distortion correction is performed so that a projection image obtained by enlarging and projecting the display image of the MEMS mirror 114 without distortion is obtained, the projection image does not extend. However, the compression portion distorted in the reverse direction by the trapezoidal distortion correction, that is, the farther the irradiation position (the smaller the angle θ), the higher the resolution of the image data. Here, the long side direction of the rectangular (rectangular) display area of the MEMS mirror 114 corresponds to the width direction of the projected image on the road surface, and the short side direction is the depth direction of the projected image on the road surface (the traveling direction of the irradiation position). ).

  Regardless of the distance from the vehicle, in order to form a projected image with substantially the same resolution on the road surface, the farther the irradiation position, the smaller the number of micromirrors that are driven in correspondence with one pixel of the image data. What is necessary is just to increase the number of light rays per unit area reflected in the display area of the mirror 114. For example, at the farthest irradiation position, one micromirror is driven in correspondence with one pixel of the image data.

  Alternatively, the farther the irradiation position, the smaller the number of micromirrors driven corresponding to one pixel of the image data in the short side direction, and the smaller the number in the long side direction, and the light is reflected by the display area of the MEMS mirror 114. The number of rays per unit area may be increased. For example, at the farthest irradiation position, a total of n micromirrors, one in the short-side direction and n in the long-side direction (n is an integer of 2 or more), corresponding to one pixel of the image data, are simultaneously applied. To drive.

  In the following, a driving method that allows a plurality of micromirrors to be driven simultaneously corresponding to one pixel of image data may be referred to as a “super pixel method”. The super pixel method has an advantage that the configuration of the control circuit can be simplified, such as reducing the number of SRAMs of memory cells in terms of MEMS mirrors.

  Similarly, the effect of eliminating the resolution mismatch can be obtained by changing the size of each micromirror 114M of the MEMS mirror 114 for each display position. FIG. 12 is a plan view showing an example of a display region of a MEMS mirror configured by arranging micromirrors having different sizes and shapes. Corresponding to the change in the angle θ between the road surface and the irradiation light in the range of + 1 ° to −5 °, the farther the irradiation position is (the closer the angle θ is to +1), the more the pixel corresponds to one pixel of image data. The size of the micromirror 114M that is driven is reduced.

In this example, the MEMS mirror 114 includes four types of micromirrors 114M 1 , 114M 2 , 114M 3 , and 114M 4 having different sizes. The size of the micromirror increases in the order of the micromirrors 114M 1 , 114M 2 , 114M 3 , 114M 4 . The farther the irradiation position is (the closer the angle θ is to 0), the smaller the size of the micromirror 114M is. The four types of micromirrors are arranged in the order of the micromirrors 114M 1 , 114M 2 , 114M 3 , and 114M 4 from the display position where the angle θ is close to zero.

Further, the length of one side along the long side direction of the MEMS mirror of the micromirror 114M is l (horizontal size), the length of one side along the short side direction of the MEMS mirror is d (vertical size), and the horizontal direction. When the ratio of the vertical size d to the size l is (d / l), the shape of the micromirror is designed so that the value of the ratio (d / l) becomes smaller as the irradiation position becomes farther. The value of the ratio (d / l) increases in the order of the micromirrors 114M 1 , 114M 2 , 114M 3 , and 114M 4 , and the rectangle that is long in the horizontal direction is changed to the rectangle that is long in the vertical direction.

  FIG. 13 is a diagram for explaining a method of designing the shape of the micromirror. When the MEMS mirror 14 is configured by arranging micromirrors having different sizes and shapes as shown in FIG. 12, the micromirrors 114M are arranged so that the same resolution can be obtained regardless of the irradiation position (angle θ). Design the size. In other words, the size of the micromirror 114M is designed for each display position of the MEMS mirror 114 so that the area onto which the light reflected by one micromirror 114M is projected is always constant. In this case, if the projection pattern 400 is formed using a certain number of micromirrors 114M such as n × m, the area of the projection pattern 400 is always constant.

The height from the road surface 700 of the light projection lens 115 of the HB headlamp 110 is set to H. Here, it is assumed that the projection pattern 400 is formed on the road surface 700 by the irradiation light 300 from one micromirror 114M. The length in the depth direction of the projection pattern 400 (the traveling direction of the irradiation position) and D e, the length in the width direction W e. The distance from the light projecting lens 115 to the center point of the projection pattern 400 and L theta, the longest distance from the projection lens 115 to the projection pattern 400 and L θ-α / 2, the shortest distance between L θ + α / 2. Let α θ be the expected angle in the vertical direction of the irradiation light 300 emitted from one micromirror 114M, and let β θ be the expected angle in the horizontal direction.

Under the above assumptions, the conditions under which the size (W e and D e ) of the projection pattern 400 is constant regardless of the angle θ are examined. The distance L θ to the projection pattern 400 can be expressed as L θ = H / tan θ using the angle θ. Usually, the value of the angle θ is sufficiently small, so it may be approximated as L θ ≈H / θ. The length W e in the width direction of the projection pattern 400 can be approximated as W e ≈L θ · β θ . Since β θ ≈W e / L θ , the prospective angle β θ in the horizontal direction can be expressed as β θ ≈W e · (θ / H).

On the other hand, the length D e in the depth direction of the projection pattern 400 is D e = L θ-α / 2 -L θ + α / 2. The length D e can be expressed as D e = H / tan (θ−α θ / 2) −H / tan (θ + α θ / 2). Since the value of α θ is sufficiently smaller than θ, it can be approximated as D e ≈H / (θ−α θ / 2) −H / (θ + α θ / 2). Furthermore, it can be approximated as D e ≈H · α θ / θ 2 . Therefore, the prospective angle α θ in the vertical direction can be expressed as α θ ≈D e · (θ 2 / H).

From the above relational expression, the condition that the actual size (W e and D e ) of the projection pattern 400 formed on the road surface 700 is constant regardless of the angle θ is α θ ∝θ 2 and β θ ∝θ. is there. The prospective angle α θ in the vertical direction is proportional to the vertical size d of the micromirror. Further, the prospective angle β θ in the horizontal direction is proportional to the lateral size l of the micromirror. Accordingly, the vertical size d is proportional to theta 2 of the micromirror, when horizontal size l of the micromirror is proportional to theta, the size of the projection pattern 400 is constant regardless of the angle theta.

For example, the ratio (d / l) of the vertical size d to the horizontal size l is θ 2 / θ. In the example shown in FIG. 12, the micromirror size is minimized when θ = −0.1 °. Micromirrors minimum size, the ratio of the vertical size d / lateral size l (d / l) is longer micromirror 114M 1 1/10, and the transverse direction. In the case of theta = -1 °, the ratio (d / l) is 1/1, and the micromirror 114M 3 square. In the case of theta = -3 °, the ratio (d / l) is next to 3/1, the long micromirror 114M 4 in the longitudinal direction.

At this time, the ratio of the vertical size d of the micromirrors 114M 1 , 114M 3 , 114M 4 is “1: 100: 900”, and the ratio of the horizontal size l of the micromirrors 114M 1 , 114M 3 , 114M 4 is “ 1:10:30 ". The angle θ at which the reflected light (irradiation light 300) from the micromirror 114M is projected onto the road surface 700 varies depending on the position of the micromirror 114M in the mirror array of the MEMS mirror 114. As described above, the size of the micromirror 114M varies greatly according to the angle θ (that is, according to the position of the micromirror 114M).

  Also in the super pixel method, based on the same design principle, the number and arrangement of micromirrors that are simultaneously driven can be set corresponding to one pixel of image data. In the MEMS mirror, in the rectangular display area (mirror array 114A), a plurality of micromirrors 114M whose reflection surfaces are square are arranged in a grid pattern. The minimum size micromirror is a square mirror having a ratio of longitudinal size d / lateral size l of 1/1.

  For example, when θ = −1 °, the size of the super pixel is minimized, and one micromirror is driven corresponding to one pixel of the image data. In the case of θ = −3 °, nine pixels in the short side direction are associated with one pixel of the image data so that the ratio of the vertical size d / horizontal size l of the superpixel is 3/1. A total of 27 micromirrors are driven simultaneously in the long side direction.

  In the above embodiment, the case where an HB headlamp projects an attention light image on the high beam illumination area will be described. However, the LB headlamp is configured to include a drawing device such as a spatial light modulator. Thus, a light image for alerting can be projected onto the low beam illumination area by the LB headlamp. In addition, a headlamp capable of switching between a high beam and a low beam is configured so as to include a drawing device such as a spatial light modulator, and a light image for alerting is projected onto both the high beam illumination region and the low beam illumination region. You can also.

It is a figure showing the state by which the illumination system provided with the illuminating device for vehicles which concerns on embodiment of this invention was mounted in the vehicle. (A) is a top view of a vehicle, (B) is a side view of a vehicle. It is a functional block diagram of the control system of the illumination system provided with the illuminating device for vehicles which concerns on embodiment of this invention. It is the schematic which shows the structure of a HB headlamp. It is the schematic which shows the structure of LB headlamp. It is a flowchart which shows the process routine of a control process. It is a figure which shows an example of the optical image for alerting formed at the time of high beam non-irradiation. (A) is a plan view seen from above, and (B) is a side view. It is a figure which shows an example of the optical image for attention formed at the time of high beam irradiation. (A) is a plan view seen from above, and (B) is a side view. It is a flowchart which shows the subroutine of an alerting process. It is a figure which shows the example of formation of the optical image for a warning formed on the road surface when not performing trapezoid distortion correction. (A) is a plan view seen from above, and (B) is a side view. (A)-(C) is a figure explaining the method of trapezoid distortion correction. It is a schematic diagram explaining the method of eliminating the mismatch of resolution. It is a top view which shows an example of the display area of the MEMS mirror comprised by arranging the micromirror from which a magnitude | size and a shape differ. It is a figure for demonstrating the design method of the shape of a micromirror.

Explanation of symbols

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 10 Illumination system 100 Vehicle 110 Head lamp 110a Head lamp 110b Head lamp 111 Light source 112 Spherical mirror 113 Condensing lens 114 Spatial light modulator 114A Mirror array 114B Memory cell 115 Projection lens 120 Camera 130 Person judgment part 140 Distance sensor 150 Steering angle sensor 160 Vehicle speed sensor 170 Risk estimation unit 172 Head lamp control unit 175H Lamp drive unit 175L Lamp drive unit 180 Head lamp 180a Head lamp 180b Head lamp 181 Light source 182 Spherical mirror 183 Projection lens 190 Control device 200 Driver 300 Irradiation light 400 Projection pattern 400B Black pattern 400W Irradiation pattern 500 Person 700 Road surface

Claims (4)

  1. Provided with a display region in which a plurality of types of micromirrors having different reflective surface areas are arranged in a two-dimensional manner, a pattern image for drawing bright or dark portions on the road surface in front of the vehicle is displayed in the display region and displayed. A spatial light modulator that modulates, for each micromirror , illumination light emitted from a light source in accordance with a pattern image, and the micromirror that modulates light projected on a road surface far from the host vehicle. A spatial light modulator in which the area of the reflecting surface is smaller than the area of the reflecting surface of the micromirror that modulates the light projected on the road surface closer to the vehicle,
    Modulation by the spatial light modulator so that the pattern image is projected on the road surface by light projected at different positions on the road surface according to the position of the micromirror in the display area of the spatial light modulator Projecting means for projecting the emitted light onto the road surface in front of the vehicle;
    When the bright part is drawn by the pattern image, the bright part drawn on the road surface moves in a direction away from the own vehicle, and is used to draw the bright part as the bright part leaves the own vehicle. When each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator is driven so as to reduce the area of the micromirror to be drawn and a dark part is drawn by the pattern image, the dark part drawn on the road surface is The plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator are driven so that the area of the micromirror used to draw the dark portion becomes smaller as the dark portion moves away from the host vehicle while moving in the away direction. Control means for driving and controlling the spatial light modulator;
    A vehicle lighting device comprising:
  2. A display area in which a plurality of micromirrors having the same reflective surface area are arranged in a two-dimensional manner is provided, and a pattern image for drawing a bright part or a dark part on the road surface in front of the vehicle is displayed and displayed on the display area. A spatial light modulator that modulates the illumination light emitted from the light source according to the pattern image for each micromirror ;
    Modulation by the spatial light modulator so that the pattern image is projected on the road surface by light projected at different positions on the road surface according to the position of the micromirror in the display area of the spatial light modulator Projecting means for projecting the emitted light onto the road surface in front of the vehicle;
    The number of micromirrors that are simultaneously driven when modulating the light projected on the road surface far from the host vehicle is simultaneously driven when the light projected on the road surface closer to the host vehicle is modulated. When driving each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator so as to be smaller than the number of micromirrors to be drawn, and when drawing a bright portion by the pattern image, the bright portion drawn on the road surface Of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator so that the area of the micromirror used to draw the bright portion decreases as the bright portion moves away from the host vehicle and the bright portion moves away from the host vehicle. and driving each, when drawing the dark part by the pattern image, before according to and the dark portion rendered dark portion on the road surface moves away from the vehicle leaves the vehicle To drive each of the plurality of micromirrors of the spatial light modulator so that the area of the micro-mirror that is used to draw the dark portion becomes small, and control means for driving and controlling the spatial light modulator,
    A vehicle lighting device comprising:
  3. A display area in which a plurality of types of liquid crystal elements having different areas of the transmission surface are arranged two-dimensionally is provided, and a pattern image for drawing a bright part or a dark part on the road surface in front of the vehicle is displayed on the display area and displayed. A spatial light modulator that modulates, for each liquid crystal element, illumination light emitted from a light source in accordance with the pattern image, and the liquid crystal element that modulates light projected on a road surface far from the host vehicle. A spatial light modulator in which the area of the transmission surface is smaller than the area of the transmission surface of the liquid crystal element that modulates the light projected on the road surface closer to the host vehicle;
    Modulation by the spatial light modulator so that the pattern image is projected on the road surface by light projected at different positions on the road surface according to the position of the liquid crystal element in the display area of the spatial light modulator Projecting means for projecting the emitted light onto the road surface in front of the vehicle;
    When the bright part is drawn by the pattern image, the bright part drawn on the road surface moves in a direction away from the own vehicle, and is used to draw the bright part as the bright part leaves the own vehicle. When each of the plurality of liquid crystal elements of the spatial light modulator is driven so as to reduce the area of the liquid crystal element to be drawn and a dark part is drawn by the pattern image, the dark part drawn on the road surface is Each of the plurality of liquid crystal elements of the spatial light modulator is driven so that the area of the liquid crystal element used to draw the dark part becomes smaller as the dark part moves away from the host vehicle while moving in the direction of leaving. Control means for driving and controlling the spatial light modulator;
    A vehicle lighting device comprising:
  4. A vehicle lighting device including a high beam headlamp for irradiating a high beam and a low beam headlamp for irradiating a low beam,
    A display area in which a plurality of pixel parts are arranged in a two-dimensional manner is provided, and a pattern image for drawing a bright part or a dark part on the road surface in front of the vehicle is displayed in the display area, and according to the displayed pattern image A spatial light modulator that modulates the illumination light emitted from the high beam headlamp for each pixel unit;
    Modulation by the spatial light modulator so that the pattern image is projected onto the road surface by light projected at different positions on the road surface according to the position of the pixel portion within the display area of the spatial light modulator Projecting means for projecting the emitted light onto the road surface in front of the vehicle;
    When the high beam headlamp is not turned on, the high beam headlamp is turned on to draw a bright portion by the pattern image, and the bright portion drawn on the road surface moves away from the host vehicle, Each of the plurality of pixel units of the spatial light modulator is driven so that the area of the pixel unit used to draw the bright part decreases as the bright part moves away from the vehicle, and the high beam headlamp When it is lit, the dark part is drawn by the pattern image, the dark part drawn on the road surface moves away from the own vehicle, and the dark part is drawn as the dark part moves away from the own vehicle. Control means for driving and controlling the spatial light modulator so as to drive each of the plurality of pixel portions of the spatial light modulator such that the area of the pixel portion used is reduced;
    A vehicle lighting device comprising:
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