Course detail

Automotive Lighting Technology

FEKT-MPA-ALTAcad. year: 2024/2025

Students will get acquainted with basic concepts in the field of automotive lighting technology, colorimetry and photometry, light pollution sources, basics of optical sources, and optical detectors. Students will get an overview of headlamps and rear lamps in automotive and get acquainted with the principles of the function of drivers for optical sources. Students will also get acquainted with the principles of optical communication in vehicles and the vehicle's communication with its surroundings. Part of this course is also focused on displays or lidars in automotive.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Entry knowledge

The subject knowledge on the Bachelor´s degree level is requested.


Rules for evaluation and completion of the course

Evaluation: 2 tests (up to 10 points for both tests), laboratory excercises (up to 20 points). The test has a compulsory written part (up to 50 points) and a compulsory oral part (up 20 points). The content of the exam corresponds to the subject annotation.
Evaluation of activities is specified by a regulation, which is issued by the lecturer responsible for the course annually.


The aim of the course is to acquaint students with the principles of operation of headlamps and rear lamps in automotive, to explain the principle of generation and detection of optical radiation, and to acquaint students with the principle of adaptive headlights and projection of signs. Another goal of the course is to acquaint students with VLC communication between automobiles (V2V) and between automobiles and infrastructure (V2I) in the optical spectrum. Students will learn the basics of automotive lighting design, and get acquainted with the sources of light pollution and other optical systems for imaging and data transmission.
The graduate of the course will be able to: (a) describe basic aspects of automotive lighting technology, optical sources, and optical detectors; (b) describe and explain the function of the headlamps and rear lights in automobiles; (c) describe and explain the function of drivers for automotive lamps; (d) explain the function of displays, holograms, and lidars in automotive; (e) describe VLC communication systems V2V and V2I; (f) describe light pollution associated with automotive.

Study aids

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

Saleh B. A. E., Teich M.C., Fundamentals of Photonics, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. 978-0-471-35832-9. (EN)
Žaludová L., The Headlamp Illuminance in front of a Vehicle, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2012. 978-3845436500 (EN)
Stotts L. B., Free Space Optical Systems Engineering: Design and Analysis, New York: Wiley Telecom, 2017. 9781119279020. (EN)

Recommended reading

Dong P., Chen Q., LiDAR Remote Sensing and Applications (Remote Sensing Applications Series), CRC Press; 1st edition, 2018. 978-1138747241 (EN)

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme MPA-AEE Master's, 1. year of study, summer semester, compulsory-optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


  1. System aspects of automotive lighting technology
  2. Colorimetry and photometry
  3. Optical sources and optical signal properties
  4. Optical detectors and optical signal detectors
  5. Headlamps and rear lamps in automotive
  6. Adaptive headlamps and symbol projection
  7. Drivers for automotive lighting
  8. VLC communication
  9. Displays and holograms in automotive
  10. Lidars in automotive
  11. Application of fiber optics in automotive
  12. Light pollution
  13. Expected development in automotive lighting technology

Fundamentals seminar

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


Basic properties of optical radiation
Colorimetric characteristics of optical sources
Parameters of optical sources
Parameters of optical detectors
Headlight design
VLC communication
V2V and V2X optical communication
Optical fibers
Background noise 

Laboratory exercise

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer


Measurement of directional characteristics of optical sources
Turn indicator programming/animation
Measurement of the optical intensity distribution of optical sources
Simulation of the effect of the surroundings on the lighting characteristics
Safety in lighting technology