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Development of an Adaptive Steering Controlled Headlight for Low Cost


Vehicles

Technical Report · January 2016

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Development of an adaptive steering controlled headlight for low cost vehicles
Pankaj Kumar Singh, Alok Nath Sharma, Adarsh Gaurav, Naman Taneja
Amity School of Engineering Technology, New Delhi

areas. This mechanism also enables us to save some fuel,


Abstract expended in hilly driving due to frequent clutch and brake
In today’s fast moving vehicle scenario, road safety is of operations. Although the effects of "high beam" or "low
utmost importance. Many people have lost their lives while beam" can be achieved by switching the different filament
travelling, due to a road accident. So we should mitigate of the bulb. This moves the beam of light in up and down
such accidents if we wish to travel safely. To cater this direction which help to cutoff the significant amount of
cause, we propose an adaptive steering controlled headlight light from being cast into the eyes of drivers of preceding
setup. The system can be adopted in any type of four wheel or oncoming cars. But the direction of emanation of beam
vehicles/trucks or trailers etc. without being an economic of light still not adjustable as to the left or right.
burden on the end user. The notion of steering controlled Illumination of beam of light during turning is shown in the
headlight is not new, but its adaptability according to the figure 1:
steering turning angle is its novel part. A lot of companies
have developed technologies that incorporate turn able
headlight to better illuminate the path, but these
technologies are quite expensive and continue to be distant
from the majority of car owners. So we felt the need of
developing a mechanism that incorporates few simple
components like gears, linkages etc. and can be readily
fitted onto any steering column without much of a design
variations. The setup contains a gear mounted on the
steering column and it is mesh with the semicircular gear
which is mounted on an axis parallel to the steering
column. A linkage or wire mechanism is used to transmit
the rotating motion to the headlight. The headlight is
designed so that it has 1 degree of freedom i.e. it can rotate
about its axis. This setup will be of huge aid to the driver,
as it will permit him to see the incoming obstructions in
hilly areas or in the regions with sharp turns as it provides a
better illuminated path by the virtue of adaptable
headlights.

Introduction
In the present scenario, a headlight of an automobile has a Figure 1 – Variation in illumination while driving on a curved road
fixed path for the emanation of beam of light in front
direction only. So when the vehicle takes a turn, the beam Therefore, it is highly desirable to create a mechanism of
of light follows the tangential path as a result some part of high utility to solve the above problem that to at an
the roads remains dark, thereby creating a dead angle of economical cost. In this project the headlights of an
illumination and such lack of visibility poses danger in automobile, moves from left to right more particularly to a
driving at night or on steep turn. This causes a lot of direction corresponding to the front wheel when the
accidents. [1] Mentioned that driving is a visual task and if steering wheel rotates. We designed the whole system
light is not there, it can get risky. The driver has to drive involved in this mechanism on computer based designing
by his own personal experience by using clutch and brake software Solidworks® including headlight, steering column
more often than on the straight path. Additional to this, [2] linkages, gears etc.
classified vehicle lighting as active safety. So this creates a
need for simple solutions that help us cater this problem Literature Review
and increase road safety by improving the visual conditions
provided by vehicle headlights Thus this mechanism of Before proceeding to this project we perform a survey with
turnable headlight is devised to enhance the safety of the lorry drivers, who travel to curvy road and hill areas
drivers and pedestrian especially on curvy roads in hilly
often. Based on their responses and suggestions we had light. So that the proper area of road must be visible while
coddled in this project. taking steep turns .Yet another objective of the present
invention is to provide a foolproof mechanism having a
According to [3] related to turning headlight a vehicle head proper arrangement for engaging and disengaging of the
lamp including a fog lamp is provided with a movable headlight from the steering column. For designing the
reflector and by turning the movable reflector in the quick engaging and disengaging, a semicircular gear is
steering direction by an amount corresponding to a steering made to slide on the guide plate through the keyway which
angle of the steering wheel, the light distribution pattern of adds up significant number of advantages to the improved
the front lamp is changed in the direction of vehicle's turn design.
so as to increase visibility at the time of cornering.
However, according to the aforementioned earlier art, the Designing
light distribution pattern of the front lamp is changed in the
steering direction of the steering wheel by an amount To design the improved steering controlled headlight
corresponding to the steering angle when the vehicle turns mechanism in Solidworks we made the each part involved
on an intersection or the like, cornering destination cannot in the mechanism separately and then assembled the whole
be beamed brightly enough before operating the steering parts in the Solidworks to achieve complete the
wheel. Therefore, an art capable of beaming the cornering mechanism. At the very first step of designing we design
destination prior to operation of the steering wheel has been the headlight in Solidworks by taking the standard
demanded. dimension from the available headlight in the market. A
disk is attached at the rear side of the headlight and a hole
Also according to [4] includes a headlight structure, a is made eccentric to the axis of rotation of the headlight.
running gear and a server, the headlight structure being This eccentric hole helps in rotation of headlight in
mounted through a rotatable main shaft at the front side of leftward or rightward.
the car. The server receives a signal to turn and to transmit
a force to the shaft to drive the main shaft to make the Then Steering Column is designed and a spur gear is
headlight turn left or right, following the movement of the mounted on the steering wheel to transmit the motion of
steering wheel. In view of the above prior arts, the rotation of steering wheel to the headlight with the help of
mechanisms available either require more vertical space or semicircular spur gear and the linkage mechanism. The
do not provide a mechanism which can be engaged or spur gears are used because of simple structure design, high
disengaged at the will of the driver. Hence, there is a need power transmission at low rpm and reliability when the
to develop a mechanism which is compact, cost effective power is to be transmitted in parallel axis. Also the axis of
and can be engaged or disengaged at the will of the driver. rotation of spur gear mounted on steering column is parallel
to the axis of rotation of semicircular spur gear.
Therefore, the present development relates to a vehicle
front lamp light distribution control system capable of Then the semicircular spur gear is designed which is in
raising visibility at the time of cornering by controlling mesh with the spur gear mounted on the steering wheel. It
light distribution means of the front lamp. It provides is used because to rotate the headlights upto extreme left or
method for steering controlled headlights turning with a extreme right position only half of the gear profile is
non-significant increase in the turning effort. Also it was sufficient and if full gear is used then it would add
necessary that this additional mechanism doesn’t hike the unnecessarily weight to the improved steering control
cost of the vehicle. Also it was necessary to inspect that the mechanism.
mechanical system used doesn’t turn out to be fragile
increasing the maintenance costs. Then the linkage is designed according to the length
available between steering column and the headlight. The
Objective of Improved System linkages are of two types one is solid and the other one is
slotted. One the linkage is made slotted because during the
The principal objective of this development is to provide an rotation of headlight the length of linkage first increases
improved system and method for steering controlled and then decreases and then increases. Moreover the slotted
headlights turning with a non-significant increase in the linkage helps to avoid the problem of location of hinge
steering effort incorporating a mechanism to quick engage point and provide variable length of the linkage. Also
and disengage the whole system. It is so designed that it slotted mechanism gives a smooth movement with the
can be easily implemented in the available vehicles and at a rotation of semicircular spur gear and rotates the headlight
very small price. If the improved design will be costly then accordingly to the desired position.
it will add unnecessary cost to the system and it will remain
out of reach of the masses. Furthermore we have tried to To provide the facility of engaging and disengaging of the
ensure that the mechanism proves to be simpler and semicircular spur gear with the steering gear a fool proof
compact which requires lesser space by using linkage mechanism is made so that engagement and disengagement
instead of direct meshing with the gears. can be done only when the headlight is at mean position i.e.
when the headlight is front facing. The semicircular gear
The most important aspects of improved designing are to contains the pivot which moves inside a groove guide plate.
provide same angle of rotation to the headlight at which The guide plate consist a vertical slot which provide
front wheel turns to achieve maximum area of illuminated provision for the engagement and disengagement only.
Solidworks design of guide plate used to provide fool proof will pull the headlight and this will result in the rotation of
engaging and disengaging is shown in figure 2. headlight in leftward in the same way the headlight is rotate
in the rightward direction.

Also one of the noble ideas behind the steering control


headlight is the voluntary engaging and disengaging of the
headlight with the steering column at the drivers will. This
makes the mechanism more versatile and contributes
significant advantages over the previously designed
mechanisms.

During engaging the pivot moves inside the curved path


over the guide plate which makes the semicircular gear to
move towards steering column gear and get mesh with it.
Engaging mechanism is advantageous on terrain having
sharp turns such as hilly areas in night where visibility at
turns can contribute significant part to the overall safety.

2-D design for engagement and disengagement is shown in


figure 4.
Figure 2 – Guide Plate for the system

The whole assembly of the steering controlled headlight is


made in the solid works is shown in figure 3.

Figure 4 – Engagement and Disengagement of the guide


plate

During disengagement process, first headlight move to its


mean position and then with the help of lever the pivot
Figure 3 – Complete Assembly moves backward and the semicircular gear get disengaged
with the semicircular gear. This helps to make the whole
mechanism disengaged when not required and also
Working increases the life of the mechanism.
As the steering wheel rotates, the gear mounted on steering
column also rotates and the rotation is further transferred to Calculation
the semicircular gear due to meshing of semicircular gear Total angle turn by wheel is 40° (i.e. from extreme left to
with steering column gear. At the initial stage the headlight extreme right)
is at mean position and the pivot point of the gears moves
in the slotted guide plate. At the mean position the pin is at Total angle made by Steering wheel is 720 °
the midpoint of the slot and with the movement of Steering Ratio = 720 °/ 40 ° = 18
headlight towards extreme left or right position, the pin also
transverses the distance away from the mean position of Let Min No. of teeth on steering column gear = 18
pin in the slot. Now when the semicircular gear rotated the (Reduces weight low)
linkage attached to the semicircular spur gear also rotates
and it helps to transmit the motion to the headlight. If the No. of teeth on the other gear = 18×18(S.R) = 324
steering wheel is rotated clockwise then semicircular gear
rotate in anticlockwise direction. Then the left side linkage m= module of the gear
d= diameter of the gear sensors will measure the steering movement and will use
t= number of teeth on the gear that information for controlling unit which will used to
provide corresponding movement of headlight. The
Let module of gear = 2mm resulting desired headlight angle is converted to a required
number of steps by using embedded circuit and then it is
Now, Using m=d/T transmitted to stepper motor to rotate the headlight.
Diameter of steering column gear = 2×18=36mm
Diameter of semicircular gear = 2×324 = 648mm Another feature can be used in conjunction with the
proposed mechanism in order to further improve the
visibility is to provide a mechanism to adjust the light beam
Conclusions along vertical axis i.e. along an axis perpendicular to the
vehicle. Static and dynamic systems can be used as that of
This paper has conferred the development of “Development used in Volkswagen, static systems can adjust to
of an adaptive steering controlled headlight for low cost compensate for the extra weight of the passengers and their
vehicles ” in which the headlights rotates with a same angle luggage, dynamic systems also correct the headlight setting
as with which the front wheel of the vehicle rotates by the when the vehicle is pulling away, accelerating and braking.
rotation the steering wheel. The linkage mechanism of
steering controlled headlight proved to be robust and cost The Mechanism system can be made automated by making
effective option which can be used in vehicles especially in it electrically controlled by using motors to rotate the
heavy duty vehicles to transmit the rotation motion of the headlight and gears. The movement of headlight and
steering wheel to the headlights when the mechanism is steering gears can be actuated and controlled by using
engaged. It also increases the safety of drivers as well as electrically controlled mechanism such as by using
passengers by providing appropriate field of view during servomotor. Moreover the mechanism can be improved
ride in night and hilly areas which consists of frequent more so that it can easily accommodate in small or mid-
sharp turns. The provision of engagement and level vehicles. As compared to Heavy duty vehicle small
disengagement mechanism also made it suitable for use in and mid level vehicles has less space so the mechanism
small and mid level vehicles. must be made accordingly with some possible changes so
Moreover other existing mechanisms for steering that the vehicle may accommodate it easily and will give
controlled headlight such as electrically controlled desired result efficiently.
mechanism, adaptive headlight mechanism it is simple,
economical and can be easily customized for the any king References
of vehicles. Unlike other available systems it does not
require any external source for power for its 1. Alexander, G. J. and Lunenfeld, H. (1990), “A users’
commencement, only a little effort is applied to engage the guide to positive guidance, third ed.,” Report No. FHWA-
system by using lever mechanism. SA-90-017, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal
Highway Administration, Washington, DC pp. 1–39.
The mechanism consist a gear mounted on the steering
column and a semicircular gear is mounted on an axis 2. D. Neunzig and R. Lachmayer, “Lighting and Driver
parallel to the steering column to mesh with the steering Assistances Systems for ImprovingVehicle Safety,” ATZ
gear. A linkage is used to transmit the rotary motion Worldwide 6/2002, Vol. 104, pp 13-17.
steering wheel to the turnable headlight by meshing the two
gears. It is also equipped with guide plate and pivot to 3. Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. H8-192674.
engage/disengage the headlight at the will of driver. By the
provision of engaging and disengaging helps the driver to 4. US Patent No. 6,309,082, Inventor - Tien-Ching Wu.
easily detach the whole mechanism on straight roads and
during day light when the mechanism is not required. Contact Information
Future Aspect Author – Mr. Pankaj Kumar Singh
Mobile No. – 9911191733
As there is always a scope of betterment is available in
Email – pankajsinghps@gmail.com
anything. In the same way the above mentioned mechanism
can be made more flexible and easy to accommodate in less
available space by changing the linkage mechanism with
wire like clutch wire or gear wire used in automobiles to
rotate the headlight. With the use of wires instead of
linkage can provide more smooth movement to headlight
and improves the efficiency of the mechanism. Moreover
by using wire the total weight of the mechanism is also
reduced which also result in the reduction of wear and tear.

Above mentioned mechanism can be made versatile by


conjugating it with position based sensors. Position based

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