(19)
(11)EP 3 492 805 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
09.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/37

(21)Application number: 18209125.6

(22)Date of filing:  29.11.2018
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F21S 43/14(2018.01)
F21S 43/235(2018.01)

(54)

AUTOMOTIVE LIGHTING UNIT

BELEUCHTUNGSEINHEIT FÜR KRAFTFAHRZEUGE

UNITÉ D'ÉCLAIRAGE D'AUTOMOBILE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 01.12.2017 IT 201700138867

(43)Date of publication of application:
05.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/23

(73)Proprietor: MARELLI AUTOMOTIVE LIGHTING ITALY S.P.A.
10078 Venaria Reale (TO) (IT)

(72)Inventors:
  • BUZZURRO, Alessandro
    33028 TOLMEZZO (UD) (IT)
  • BIANCO, Patrick
    33028 TOLMEZZO (UD) (IT)

(74)Representative: Bellemo, Matteo et al
Studio Torta S.p.A. Via Viotti, 9
10121 Torino
10121 Torino (IT)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2013/008215
WO-A1-2015/107273
DE-A1-102005 023 817
WO-A1-2013/099144
DE-A1- 19 737 653
US-A1- 2001 040 807
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The invention relates to an automotive lighting unit.

    [0002] More in detail, the invention preferably relates to a taillight for cars and similar vehicles, i.e. a lighting device adapted to be incorporated into a motor vehicle with the function of signalling the position, the sudden deceleration and/or the turning direction of the vehicle, and/or with the function of lighting the area surrounding the vehicle. Use to which the description below will make explicit reference without however loosing in generality.

    BACKGROUND ART



    [0003] As it is known, automotive taillights and the like usually comprise: a substantially basin-shaped and rigid rear body, which is structured to be stably fitted into a compartment especially formed in the rear part of the bodywork of the vehicle; a front half-shell that closes the mouth of the rear body so as to surface from the bodywork of the vehicle, and is usually provided with a plurality of transparent or semi-transparent portions, usually with different colour to one another; and a series of lighting assemblies that are located inside the rear body, each immediately underneath a respective transparent or semi-transparent portion of the front half-shell, so as to backlight the superjacent transparent or semi-transparent portion of the front half-shell.

    [0004] Over the last few years, some car manufacturers have chosen to equip their newest car models with taillights in which the front half-shell is provided with one or more large-sized transparent or semi-transparent portions.

    [0005] The lighting assemblies designed to backlight the large-sized transparent or semi-transparent portions generally comprise: a light-guide plate which is made of a photoconductive material and extends inside the rear body with the front face skimming over the transparent or semi-transparent portion to be backlighted, substantially over the entire extension of the same transparent or semi-transparent portion; and a series of LEDs (acronym for Light Emitting Diode), which are adjacent to and immediately face at least a lateral sidewall of the light-guide plate, so as to direct the light produced directly into the body of the light-guide plate. Said light than travels inside the body of the light-guide plate through total internal reflection and comes out of the front face of the light-guide plate directed towards the front half-shell, so that it can backlight the superjacent transparent or semi-transparent portion of the half-shell.

    [0006] Unfortunately, in order to backlight the corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of the half-shell in a sufficiently uniform manner, the lighting assemblies described above need a large number of LEDs properly spaced apart from one another along the entire length of the lateral sidewall of the light-guide device, with all the problems that this entails. These problems are furthermore intensified if the LEDs have to be placed along two or more lateral sidewalls of the light-guide plate.

    [0007] Said LEDs, in fact, are relatively expensive components and their cost significantly affects the total manufacturing costs of an automotive lighting unit.

    [0008] WO2013/008215 A1, for example, discloses an automotive taillights wherein a portion of the front half-shell is backlighted by a long light-guide bar that receives the light from a pair of LEDs located at both ends of the same bar.

    [0009] In addition, an electronic board housing the LEDs necessarily must be accommodated in the rear body together with the power supply and control circuits, thus taking up a large space and preventing to reduce the dimensions of the taillight beyond a given limit.

    [0010] Finally, during operation, the LEDs produce a significant quantity of heat that necessarily must be dissipated outwards, for example through large radiant surfaces made of copper and placed on the electronic board at the expense of the total dimensions of the board itself.

    DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION



    [0011] Aim of the present invention is to provide a lighting assembly capable of overcoming the drawbacks referred above.

    [0012] In compliance with these aims, according to the present invention there is provided an automotive lighting unit as defined in claim 1 and preferably, though not necessarily, according to any one of the claims depending on it.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0013] The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, which show a non-limiting embodiment thereof, wherein:
    • Figure 1 is a front perspective view of an automotive lighting unit realized according to the teachings of the present invention, with parts removed for greater clarity;
    • Figure 2 is a rear perspective view of the automotive lighting unit shown in Figure 1, with parts in section and parts removed for greater clarity;
    • Figure 3 is an exploded perspective view of the automotive lighting unit shown in Figures 1 and 2;
    • Figure 4 is a sectional view of a portion of the automotive lighting unit shown in the preceding figures, with parts removed for greater clarity;
    • Figure 5 is a perspective view of a first lighting assembly of the automotive lighting unit shown in Figures 1, 2 and 3, with parts removed for greater clarity; whereas
    • Figure 6 is a perspective view of a second lighting assembly of the automotive lighting unit shown in Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4, with parts removed for greater clarity.

    BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0014] With reference to Figures 1 and 2, number 1 denotes, as a whole, an automotive lighting unit, i.e. a lighting device especially adapted to be placed in the front or rear part of the bodywork of a motor vehicle, preferably with the function of lighting the area surrounding the vehicle and/or with the function of signalling the position of the vehicle and/or the sudden deceleration of the vehicle and/or the turning direction of the vehicle while driving.

    [0015] In other words, the automotive lighting unit 1 is adapted to be fixed on the front or rear part of the bodywork of a car, van, truck, motorcycle or other similar motor vehicle, in order to fulfil the function of headlight or taillight.

    [0016] In the example shown, in particular, the automotive lighting unit 1 is preferably structured to be stably fitted into the rear part of the bodywork of a car or other similar motor vehicle.

    [0017] With reference to Figures 1, 2 and 3, the automotive lighting unit 1 firstly comprises: a rigid and preferably made of plastic material, rear body 2 which is substantially basin-shaped, and is preferably structured to be at least partially recessed into a seat especially formed in the rear part of the bodywork of the vehicle (not shown); a rigid and preferably made of plastic material, front half-shell 3 which is placed in front of the mouth of the rear body 2, preferably so as to close the mouth of the rear body 2 and preferably so as to simultaneously surface outwards of the bodywork of the vehicle; and at least one electrically-powered lighting assembly which emits light on command, is placed inside the rear body 2, and is adapted to backlight a corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3.

    [0018] In the example shown, in particular, the automotive lighting unit 1 is preferably provided with at least two electrically-powered lighting assemblies 4 and 5, each of which emits light on command and is placed inside the rear body 2 in a position that allows to backlight a corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3, preferably separately from and independently of any other lighting assembly of the lighting unit.

    [0019] In addition, in the example shown, the rear body 2 is preferably made of an opaque plastic material, preferably via an injection moulding process. The front half-shell 3, on the other hand, is preferably made of a transparent or semi-transparent plastic material, such as for example polycarbonate or polymethyl methacrylate, again preferably via an injection moulding process.

    [0020] Obviously, in a different embodiment, the rear body 2 could be designed so as to be simply fixed in cantilever manner to the rear part of the bodywork of the vehicle (not shown).

    [0021] With reference to Figures 1, 2, 3 and 5, the lighting assembly 4 in turn comprises: at least one and preferably a plurality of oblong and preferably also straight, light-guide section bars 6, each of which is made of a photoconductive material and is placed inside the rear body 2 with its front end 7 facing and/or substantially skimmed over a corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3, and with its rear end 8 facing the bottom of rear body 2; an electronically-controlled active light deflector device 9 which is placed inside the rear body 2, preferably close to the bottom of the rear body 2, so as to face the rear end 8 of the or of each light-guide section bar 6; and an electrically-powered LASER light emitting device 10 which is placed inside the rear body 2, preferably close to the bottom of the rear body 2, and is capable of emitting and directing a laser beam ℓ (i.e. a beam of coherent and monochromatic light, which is extremely concentrated and collimated) directly towards/against the active light deflector device 9 which, in turn, is adapted to receive/deflect the laser beam ℓ towards the rear end 8 of the or of each light-guide section bar 6.

    [0022] More in detail, the active light deflector device 9 is adapted to reflect/deflect the laser beam ℓ towards the rear end 8 of the or of each light-guide section bar 6, so that said laser beam ℓ can enter into the light-guide section bar 6 and then freely travel inside the light-guide section 6 by total internal reflection. After having reached the front end 7 of the section bar, the laser light travelling inside the light-guide section bar 6 freely comes out from the front end 7 of the light-guide section bar 6, directed towards the front half-shell 3.

    [0023] In other words, the light-guide section bar 6 is structured so as to channel, by total internal reflection, the light entering into the light-guide section bar 6 from the rear end 8 up to the front end 7, from where the light comes out of the section bar.

    [0024] In addition, the active light deflector device 9 is additionally structured so as to move the light beam ℓ in a swinging manner along at least a part/sector of the rear end 8 of the aforesaid light-guide section bar 6, with a given speed greater than the one perceivable by the human eye (for example with a scanning speed exceeding 50hz), so as to simulate/let the external observer perceive a substantially uniform lighting of said part/sector of the rear end 8.

    [0025] With reference to Figures 1, 2, 3 and 5, in the example shown, in particular, the light-guide section bar or bars 6 extend inside the concave rear body 2, preferably while remaining locally substantially perpendicular to the front half-shell 3.

    [0026] Preferably, the light-guide section bar or bars 6 moreover have an oblong rectangular-shaped cross section.

    [0027] In order words, the or each light-guide section bar 6 preferably has a plate-like structure, preferably with the front end 7 and rear end 8 with a flat and oblong shape. In addition, the front end 7 of light-guide section bar 6 is preferably arranged locally substantially skimmed over and, optionally, also substantially parallel to the corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3.

    [0028] The active light deflector device 9, in turn, is preferably adapted to move the laser beam ℓ is swinging manner substantially along the entire length/extension of the rear end 8 of light-guide section bar 6, so as to simulate/let an external observer perceive a substantially uniform lighting of the entire rear end 8 of the section bar.

    [0029] Obviously, a substantially uniform lighting of the entire rear end 8 the light-guide section bar 6 causes/ produces a substantially uniform lighting of the entire front end 7 of light-guide section bar 6 and, hence, also of the facing transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3.

    [0030] Preferably, the lighting assembly 4 is moreover provided with a screening element 11 which is placed inside the rear body 2, immediately underneath the front half-shell 3, and is adapted to hide/conceal the active light deflector device 9, the LASER light emitting device 10 and, preferably, also the rear part of the or of each light-guide section bar 6.

    [0031] With reference to Figures 1, 2, 3 and 5, in the example shown, in particular, the lighting assembly 4 is preferably provided with two substantially plate-like light-guide section bars 6 which extend inside the rear body 2 one spaced beside the other, preferably while remaining locally substantially perpendicular to the front half-shell 3, and which are preferably also substantially coplanar to one another.

    [0032] Each light-guide section bar 6, in addition, is preferably made of Plexiglas, transparent polycarbonate or another similar transparent plastic material, preferably via an injection moulding process.

    [0033] The screening element 11, on the other hand, preferably has a substantially plate-like structure and extends inside the rear body 2, preferably while remaining locally substantially skimmed over and, optionally, also substantially parallel to a part of front half-shell 3.

    [0034] In addition, the light-guide section bar or bars 6 preferably extend in passing-through manner through the plate-like screening element 11.

    [0035] More in detail, in the example shown, the screening element 11 preferably consists of an opaque plate-like body, preferably with a narrow and oblong shape, i.e. ribbon-like, which is made of plastic material and is placed inside the rear body 2 locally substantially skimmed over a part of front half-shell 3.

    [0036] The two light-guide section bars 6, in turn, are inserted in passing-through manner in the screening element 11, so that the front end 7 of each light-guide section bar 6 can surface or protrude from the front face of screening element 11, in order to direct the out-coming light directly towards the front half-shell 3.

    [0037] On the other hand, the active light deflector device 9 comprises a MOEMS device 12 (acronym for Micro Opto-Electro-Mechanical System), and a control electronics 13 adapted to control the MOEMS device 12 and, optionally, also the LASER light emitting device 10.

    [0038] More in detail, the control electronics 13 is adapted to control the MOEMS device 12 so as to deflect the laser beam ℓ coming from the LASER light emitting device 10 towards the rear end 8 of light-guide section bar 6 or of any one of the light-guide section bars 6, and then to move the laser beam ℓ in swinging manner and at a high speed along the rear end 8 of the same light-guide section bar 6.

    [0039] Preferably, the MOEMS device 12 furthermore is a DMD device (acronym for Digital Micromirror Device), i.e. a miniaturized integrated circuit with thousands of orientable micromirrors, or a micromirror scanner with an electronically controlled integrated moving system.

    [0040] DMD devices and micromirror scanners with integrated electronically-controlled moving system can easily be found in the market and, therefore, will not be further described.

    [0041] The LASER emitting device 10, on the other hand, preferably is a known RGB LASER emitter.

    [0042] With reference to figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, on the other hand, the lighting assembly 5 preferably comprises: and least one light-guide plate 15, which is made of a photoconductive material and extends inside the body 2 with its front face locally substantially skimmed over and, optionally, also parallel to a corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3, preferably substantially for the entire extension of the same transparent or semi-transparent portion; a second electronically controlled active light deflector device 16, which is placed inside the rear body 2, preferably close to a lateral wall of rear body 2, so as to face a lateral sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15; and an electrically-powered LED light emitting device 18, which is placed inside the rear body 2, preferably close to a lateral wall of rear body 2, and is capable of emitting and directing a collimated light beam r (i.e. a group of light rays collimated in the same direction) directly towards/against the active light deflector device 16 which, in turn, is adapted to reflect/deflect the collimated light beam r towards the lateral sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15.

    [0043] More in detail, the active light deflector device 16 is adapted to reflect/deflect the collimated light beam r towards the lateral sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15, so that said collimated light beam r can enter into the light-guide plate 15 and then freely travel inside the light-guide plate 15 by total internal reflection.

    [0044] The light-guide plate 15, in turn, is structured so as to allow the light travelling inside the light-guide plate 15 to progressively come out from its front face, so as to backlight the facing transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3.

    [0045] In other words, the light-guide plate 15 is structured to channel, by total internal reflection, the light entering the light-guide plate 15 from the lateral sidewall 17 up to the front face of the plate, from where the light comes out of light-guide plate 15.

    [0046] In addition, the active light deflector device 16 is additionally structured to move the collimated light beam r in a swinging manner along at least a portion/segment of the lateral sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15, with a given speed which is greater than the one perceivable by the human eye (for example with a scanning speed exceeding 50hz), so as to simulate/let the external observer perceive a substantially uniform lighting of said portion/segment of lateral sidewall 17.

    [0047] More in detail, the active light deflector device 16 is preferably adapted to move the collimated light beam r in a swinging manner substantially along the entire length/extension of the lateral sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15, so as to have the external observer perceive a substantially uniform lighting of the entire lateral sidewall 17.

    [0048] Obviously, a substantially uniform lighting of the entire sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15 causes/produces a substantially uniform lighting of the front face of light-guide plate 15 and, hence, also of the superjacent transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3.

    [0049] In the example shown, in particular, the light-guide plate 15 is preferably narrow and oblong in shape, i.e. substantially ribbon-like, and preferably extends inside the rear body 2 adjacent and substantially coplanar to the screening element 11 of lighting assembly 5.

    [0050] The lateral sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15 is furthermore provided with a series of divergent optics 19 which are shaped so as to spread and diffuse, inside the body of light-guide plate 15, the collimated light beam r reaching the lateral sidewall 17.

    [0051] On the other hand, the rear face of light-guide plate 15 is preferably provided with a multitude of recesses or grooves with microscopical dimensions, which are properly distributed on surface of the same face and and are shaped so as to deflect, towards the front face of light-guide plate 15, the light rays travelling inside the light-guide plate 15 and reaching said recesses or grooves, with an angle of incidence that allows the light to come out of the light-guide plate 15 and travel towards the front half-shell 3.

    [0052] As an alternative to the light extraction and scattering means mentioned above, the controlled exit of light from the front face of light-guide plate 15 can be obtained by subjecting the surface of the plate to a surface abrasion process (sandblasting), to a silking process or to a screen printing process, so as to locally increase the roughness of the surface of the light-guide plate 15.

    [0053] Finally, the light-guide plate 15 is preferably made of Plexiglas, transparent polycarbonate or other similar transparent plastic material, preferably via an injection moulding process.

    [0054] With reference to Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, preferably the lighting assembly 5 additionally also comprises one or more light-guide rods 20 that are made of a photoconductive material and extend inside the body 2 while remaining, at least for a segment thereof, locally substantially skimmed over and, optionally, also parallel to corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portions of front half-shell 3.

    [0055] The active light deflector device 16, in addition, is preferably adapted to reflect/deflect the collimated light beam r arriving from the LED light emitting device 18 also towards an end 21 of the or of each light-guide rod 20, so that said collimated light beam r can enter into the light-guide rod 20 and then freely travel inside the light-guide rod 20 by total internal reflection.

    [0056] The or each light-guide rod 20, in turn, is structured to allow the light travelling inside the light-guide rod 20 to come out of the lateral sidewall of the bar that is locally skimmed over to/faces the front half-shell 3, so as to backlight the facing transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3.

    [0057] In other words, the or each light-guide rod 20 is structured to channel, by total internal reflection, the light entering the light-guide rod 20 from the end 21 of the rod up to the portion of the lateral sidewall skimmed over the transparent or semi-transparent portion of front half-shell 3 to be backlighted, from where the light comes out of light-guide rod 20.

    [0058] In the example shown, in particular, the or each light-guide rod 20 preferably has a substantially circular-or elliptical- shaped cross section, and it is moreover provided with a substantially flat longitudinal band that extends along the lateral side of light-guide bar 20 opposite to the portion of front half-shell 3 to be backlighted, more or less parallel to the longitudinal axis of the light-guide rod 20.

    [0059] The light-guide rod 20 moreover has, along the flat longitudinal band, a sequence of small, preferably substantially triangular in shape, transverse deflector ribs (not visible in the figures) that protrude from the flat longitudinal band and extend substantially perpendicular to the centreline of the flat longitudinal band, preferably along the entire width of the flat longitudinal band. The deflector ribs are shaped so as to deflect, towards the opposite side of the light-guide rod 20 (and, hence, towards the front half-shell 3), the light rays travelling inside the light-guide rod 20 and entering into the same deflector ribs, with an angle of incidence allowing the light to come out of the light-guide rod 20 and travel towards the adjacent front half-shell 3.

    [0060] Preferably, the or each light-guide rod 20 is finally made of Plexiglas, transparent polycarbonate or other similar transparent plastic material, preferably via an injection moulding process.

    [0061] With reference to Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, in the example shown, in particular, the lighting assembly 5 is preferably provided with three substantially straight, light-guide rods 20 that extend inside the rear body 2 remaining substantially parallel to one another and/or to the front half-shell 3. Furthermore, two out of these three light-guide rods 20 extend adjacent and locally substantially parallel to the two larger sides of the light-guide plate 15.

    [0062] Preferably, the lighting assembly 5 additionally comprises, for one or each light-guide rod 20, a respective auxiliary diffusion lens and/or a respective lateral lens body 22.

    [0063] The auxiliary diffusion lens 22 is placed at the end of the light-incoupling end 21 of light-guide rod 20 and has a divergent profile so as to spread and diffuse, inside the body of light-guide rod 20, the collimated light beam r that reaches the end 21 of light-guide rod 20 and enters into the light-guide rod 20.

    [0064] The lateral lens body 23, on the other hand, extends skimmed over the light-guide rod 20, between the light-guide rod 20 and the front half-shell 3, and is made of a transparent or semi-transparent, optionally even coloured, material, so as to be crossed by the light coming out of the light-guide rod 20, directed towards the front half-shell 3.

    [0065] Preferably, the lateral lens body 23 is furthermore structured so as to diffuse, preferably in substantially Lambertian manner, the light coming out of light-guide rod 20 and directed towards the front half-shell 3.

    [0066] Similarly to the light-guide rod/s 20, the lateral lens bodies 23 are preferably made of a transparent or semi-transparent plastic material, preferably via an injection moulding process.

    [0067] Similarly to the active light deflector device 9, the light deflector device 16 comprises a MOEMS device 24 (acronym for Micro Opto-Electro-Mechanical System), and a control electronics 25 adapted to control the MOEMS device 24 and, optionally, also the LED light emitting device 18.

    [0068] More in detail, the control electronics 25 is adapted to control the MOEMS device 24 so as to deflect the collimated light beam r arriving from the LED light emitting device 18 towards the lateral sidewall 17 of light-guide plate 15, and then to move the collimated light beam r in a swinging manner and at a high speed along the lateral sidewall 17 of the same light-guide plate 15.

    [0069] In addition, the control electronics 25 is moreover adapted to control the MOEMS device 24 so as to deflect the collimated light beam r coming from the LED light emitting device 18 towards the end of the or of each light-guide rod 20, and - optionally - also to move the collimated light beam r in a swinging manner and at a high speed along the end of the light-guide rod 20.

    [0070] Preferably, the MOEMS device 24 furthermore is a DMD device (acronym for Digital Micromirror Device), i.e. a miniaturized integrated circuit with thousands of orientable micromirrors, or a micromirror scanner with an electronically-controlled integrated moving system.

    [0071] DMD devices and micromirror scanners with electronically controlled integrated moving system can easily be found in the market and, therefore, will not be further described.

    [0072] The LED light emitting device 18, on the other hand, preferably comprises: a high-power LED 26 (acronym for Light Emitting Diode) of known type; and a collimating optic assembly 27 of known type, which is placed in front of the LED 26 and is structured to concentrate and collimate in a same direction the light rays coming out of the same LED 26, so as to form the collimated light beam r.

    [0073] Operation of automotive lighting unit 1 is easily inferable from the description above and does not require further explanations.

    [0074] As regards on the other hand the lighting assemblies 4 and 5, the active light deflector devices 9 and 16 direct and distribute, on command, the light emitted by the LASER light emitting device 10 or by the LED light emitting device 18 in a selective manner towards the light-incoupling end or sidewall of the corresponding oblong light-guide body/bodies (i.e. the light-guide section bar/s 6, the light-guide plate 15 and the light-guide rod/s 20), so that the light can enter into the guide-light body and then freely travel inside the light-guide body by total internal reflection. Said light than comes out, in a controlled manner, from a second end, face or lateral sidewall of the light-guide body 6, 15, 20 so as to backlight the front half-shell 3.

    [0075] In other words, the high moving speed of the laser beam ℓ or of the collimated light beam r provided by the active light deflector device 9, 16 allows to affect the light-incoupling ends or sidewalls of a part of or of all the oblong light-guide bodies of a same lighting assembly (i.e. the light-guide section bar/s 6, the light-guide plate 15 and the light-guide rod/s 20), so as to introduce into them light preferably with different colours, in order that the automotive lighting unit 1 can simultaneously emit different light signals, i.e. light signals associated with different functions (for instance the position of the vehicle, the sudden deceleration of the vehicle and/or the turning direction of the vehicle, etcetera).

    [0076] The advantages associated to the presence of the dynamic light deflector devices 9 and 16 are remarkable.

    [0077] The presence of the dynamic light deflector devices 9 and 16 allows to significantly reduce the number of light sources needed to properly backlight the front half-shell 3, with all the advantages arising therefrom.

    [0078] Theoretically speaking, it is possible to use one single LASER 10 or LED 18 light emitting device to backlight, in a selective and independent manner, a large umber of transparent or semi-transparent portions of the half-shell 3, each associated with a specific different light signal of the lighting unit.

    [0079] The special structure of lighting assemblies 4 and 5 therefore allows to reduce the lighting unit manufacturing costs and to eliminate the heat dissipation problems associated with the use of a large number of LEDs. In addition, the special structure of the lighting assemblies 4 and 5 allows to also significantly reduce the overall dimensions of the automotive lighting unit 1.

    [0080] It is finally clear that the automotive lighting unit 1 described above may be subjected to changes and variations without however going beyond the scope of protection of the present invention.

    [0081] For example, instead of being placed on the rear face of light-guide plate 15, the light extraction and scattering means can be placed on the front face of the light-guide plate 15 with an identical result.

    [0082] Furthermore, according to a different embodiment, the lighting assembly 5 can have no light-guide plate 15. In this case, the active light deflector device 16 is adapted to direct the light produced by the LED light emitting device 18 towards the light-incoupling end of the light-guide rod/s 20.


    Claims

    1. An automotive lighting unit (1) comprising: a substantially basin-shaped, rear body (2); a front half-shell (3) placed in front of the mouth of the rear body (2); and at least one lighting assembly (4, 5) that emits light on command, and is located inside the rear body (2) so as to be able to backlight a corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of the front half-shell (3);
    the lighting assembly (4, 5) comprising at least one light-guide body (6, 15, 20) made of photoconductive material, which is placed inside the rear body (2) and is structured to channel, by total internal reflection and towards said transparent or semi-transparent portion of the front half-shell (3), the light that enters in the same light-guide body (6, 15, 20) through a light-incoupling end or sidewall (8, 17, 21) of the same light-guide body (6, 15, 20);
    the automotive lighting unit (1) being characterised in that the lighting assembly (4, 5) additionally comprises: an active light deflector device (9, 16) which is placed inside the rear body (2), facing the light-incoupling end or sidewall (8, 17, 21) of said light-guide body (6, 15, 20); and an electrically-powered light source (10, 18) which is placed inside the rear body (2) and emits, on command, a collimated light beam (r, ℓ) towards the active light deflector device (9, 16);
    the active light deflector device (9, 16) including a MOEMS device (12, 24) and a control electronics (13, 25) adapted to drive said MOEMS device (12, 24), and being adapted to reflect/divert said collimated light beam (r, ℓ) towards the light-incoupling end or sidewall (8, 17, 21) of said light-guide body (6, 15, 20), so that the collimated light beam (r, ℓ) can enter into the light-guide body (6, 15, 20) and then travel inside the light-guide body (6, 15, 20) by total internal reflection.
     
    2. Automotive lighting unit according to claim 1, characterised in that the active light deflector device (9, 16) is adapted to move the collimated light beam (r, ℓ) in a swinging manner along at least a part of the light-incoupling end or sidewall (8, 17, 21) of said light-guide body (6, 15, 20), with a speed greater than that perceptible by the human eye.
     
    3. Automotive lighting unit according to claim 2, characterised in that the active light deflector device (9, 16) is adapted to move the collimated light beam (r, ℓ) in a swinging manner along substantially the entire light-incoupling end or sidewall (8, 17, 21) of said light-guide body (6, 15, 20), with a speed greater than that perceptible by the human eye.
     
    4. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said control electronics (13, 25) is additionally adapted to drive said light source (10, 18).
     
    5. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said MOEMS device (12, 24) is a digital micromirror device (DMD), or a micromirror scanner with an electronically-controlled integrated moving system.
     
    6. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said light source (10, 18) is a LASER light emitting device (10) or a LED light emitting device (18).
     
    7. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the lighting assembly (4, 5) comprises a plurality of light-guide bodies (6, 15, 20) made of photoconductive material, each of which is placed inside the rear body (2) and is structured to channel, by total internal reflection and towards a corresponding transparent or semi-transparent portion of the front half-shell (3), the light that enters in the same light-guide body (6, 15, 20) through a light-incoupling end or sidewall (8, 17, 21) (8, 17, 21) of the same light-guide body (6, 15, 20); the active light deflector device (9, 16) being adapted to reflect/divert said collimated light beam (r, ℓ) towards the light-incoupling end or sidewall (8, 17, 21) of each of said light-guide bodies (6, 15, 20), so that the collimated light beam (r, ℓ) can enter into the same light-guide body (6, 15, 20) and then travel inside the same light-guide body (6, 15, 20) by total internal reflection.
     
    8. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said at least one light-guide body (6, 15, 20) comprises an oblong light-guide section-bar (6) which is made of photoconductive material, and is placed inside the rear body (2) with its front end (7) facing and/or substantially skimming the front half-shell (3), and with its rear end (8) facing the bottom of the rear body (2) ; the light-guide section-bar (6) being structured to channel, by total internal reflection up to the front end (7) of the oblong light-guide section-bar (6), the light that enters in the same light-guide section-bar (6) from the rear end (8) of the section-bar.
     
    9. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said at least one light-guide body comprises a light-guide plate (15), which is made of photoconductive material and extends inside the rear body (2) with its front face substantially locally skimming the front half-shell (3); the light-guide plate (15) being structured to channel, by total internal reflection up to the front face of the same light-guide plate (15), the light that enters in the light-guide plate (15) from a lateral sidewall (17) of the same plate.
     
    10. Automotive lighting unit according to claim 9, characterised in that said lateral sidewall (17) of the light-guide plate (15) is provided with a series of divergent optics (19) which are shaped so as to spread and diffuse, inside the body of the light-guide plate (15), the collimated light beam (r, ℓ) that enters into the light-guide plate (15).
     
    11. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said at least one light-guide body comprises a light-guide rod (20), which is made of photoconductive material and extends inside the rear body (2) while remaining, for at least one section, locally substantially skimmed over the front half-shell (3); the light-guide rod (20) being structured so as to channel, by total internal reflection, the light that enters in the light-guide rod (20) from a first end (21) of the same light-guide rod (20), towards the portion of the lateral side that is substantially skimmed over the front half-shell (3).
     
    12. Automotive lighting unit according to claim 11, characterised in that, on the first end (21) of said light-guide rod (20), there is an auxiliary diffusion lens (22) having a divergent profile so as to spread and diffuse, inside the body of the light-guide rod (20), the collimated light beam (r, ℓ) that enters into the light-guide rod (20) .
     
    13. Automotive lighting unit according to any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said at least one light-guide body (6, 15, 20) is made of transparent plastic material, preferably via an injection moulding process.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit (1) umfassend: einen im Wesentlichen schalenförmigen hinteren Körper (2); eine vordere Halbschale (3), die vor der Öffnung des hinteren Körpers (2) angeordnet ist; und mindestens eine Beleuchtungsbaugruppe (4, 5), die auf Befehl Licht ausstrahlt und sich im Inneren des hinteren Körpers (2) befindet, um einen entsprechenden transparenten oder halbtransparenten Abschnitt der vorderen Halbschale (3) hinterleuchten zu können;
    wobei die Beleuchtungsbaugruppe (4, 5) mindestens einen Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) aus lichtleitendem Material umfasst, der im Inneren des hinteren Körpers (2) angeordnet und so strukturiert ist, dass er durch innere Totalreflexion das Licht zu dem transparenten oder halbtransparenten Abschnitt der vorderen Halbschale (3) leitet, das in denselben Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) durch ein Lichteinkopplungsende oder eine Seitenwand (8, 17, 21) desselben Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20) eintritt;
    wobei die Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit (1) dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass die Beleuchtungsbaugruppe (4, 5) zusätzlich umfasst:

    eine aktive Lichtablenkeinrichtung (9, 16), die innerhalb des hinteren Körpers (2) angeordnet ist und dem Lichteinkopplungsende oder der Seitenwand (8, 17, 21) des Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20) zugewandt ist; und eine elektrisch betriebene Lichtquelle (10, 18), die innerhalb des hinteren Körpers (2) angeordnet ist und auf Befehl einen kollimierten Lichtstrahl (r, ℓ) in Richtung der aktiven Lichtablenkeinrichtung (9, 16) emittiert;

    wobei die aktive Lichtablenkeinrichtung (9, 16) eine MOEMS-Vorrichtung (12, 24) und eine Steuerelektronik (13, 25) umfasst, die geeignet ist, die MOEMS-Vorrichtung (12, 24) anzusteuern, und die geeignet ist, den kollimierten Lichtstrahl (r) zu reflektieren/umzuleiten, ℓ) in Richtung des Lichteinkopplungsendes oder der Seitenwand (8, 17, 21) des Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20), so dass der kollimierte Lichtstrahl (r, ℓ) in den Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) eintreten und sich dann innerhalb des Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20) durch innere Totalreflexion ausbreiten kann.


     
    2. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die aktive Lichtablenkeinrichtung (9, 16) so ausgebildet ist, dass sie den kollimierten Lichtstrahl (r, ℓ) in schwingender Weise entlang mindestens eines Teils des Lichteinkopplungsendes oder der Seitenwand (8, 17, 21) des Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20) mit einer Geschwindigkeit bewegt, die größer ist als die vom menschlichen Auge wahrnehmbare Geschwindigkeit.
     
    3. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die aktive Lichtablenkeinrichtung (9, 16) so ausgelegt ist, dass sie den kollimierten Lichtstrahl (r, ℓ) in schwingender Weise im Wesentlichen entlang des gesamten Lichteinkopplungsendes oder der Seitenwand (8, 17, 21) des Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20) mit einer Geschwindigkeit bewegt, die größer ist als die vom menschlichen Auge wahrnehmbare Geschwindigkeit.
     
    4. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Steuerelektronik (13, 25) zusätzlich geeignet ist, die Lichtquelle (10, 18) anzusteuern.
     
    5. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die MOEMS-Vorrichtung (12, 24) eine digitale Mikrospiegelvorrichtung (DMD) oder ein Mikrospiegel-Scanner mit einem elektronisch gesteuerten integrierten Bewegungssystem ist.
     
    6. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Lichtquelle (10, 18) eine LASER-Leuchtvorrichtung (10) oder eine LED-Leuchtvorrichtung (18) ist.
     
    7. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Beleuchtungsbaugruppe (4, 5) eine Vielzahl von Lichtleitkörpern (6, 15, 20) aus lichtleitendem Material umfasst, von denen jeder im Inneren des hinteren Körpers (2) angeordnet und strukturiert ist, durch innere Totalreflexion und zu einem entsprechenden transparenten oder halbtransparenten Teil der vorderen Halbschale (3) das Licht zu leiten, das in denselben Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) durch ein Lichteinkopplungsende oder eine Seitenwand (8, 17, 21) desselben Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20) eintritt; wobei die aktive Lichtablenkeinrichtung (9, 16) so ausgebildet ist, dass sie den kollimierten Lichtstrahl (r, ℓ) in Richtung des Lichteinkopplungsendes oder der Seitenwand (8, 17, 21) jedes der Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) reflektiert/umlenkt, so dass der kollimierte Lichtstrahl (r, ℓ) in denselben Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) eintreten und sich dann innerhalb desselben Lichtleitkörpers (6, 15, 20) durch innere Totalreflexion ausbreiten kann.
     
    8. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der mindestens eine Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) einen länglichen Lichtleiter-Profilstab (6) umfasst, der aus lichtleitendem Material hergestellt ist und innerhalb des hinteren Körpers (2) angeordnet ist, wobei sein vorderes Ende (7) der vorderen Halbschale (3) zugewandt ist und/oder diese im Wesentlichen erreicht und wobei sein hinteres Ende (8) dem Boden des hinteren Körpers (2) zugewandt ist; wobei der Lichtleiter-Profilstab (6) so strukturiert ist, dass er durch innere Totalreflexion das Licht, das vom hinteren Ende (8) des Profilstabes in denselben Lichtleiter-Profilstab (6) eintritt, bis zum vorderen Ende (7) des länglichen Lichtleiter-Profilstabes (6) leitet.
     
    9. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der mindestens eine Lichtleitkörper eine Lichtleitplatte (15) umfasst, die aus lichtleitendem Material hergestellt ist und sich innerhalb des hinteren Körpers (2) erstreckt, wobei ihre Vorderseite im Wesentlichen lokal die vordere Halbschale (3) erreicht; wobei die Lichtleitplatte (15) so strukturiert ist, dass sie durch innere Totalreflexion bis zur Vorderseite der Lichtleitplatte (15) das Licht leitet, das von einer seitlichen Seitenwand (17) derselben Platte in die Lichtleitplatte (15) eintritt.
     
    10. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach Anspruch 9, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die seitliche Seitenwand (17) der Lichtleitplatte (15) mit einer Reihe von divergenten Optiken (19) versehen ist, die so geformt sind, dass sie den kollimierten Lichtstrahl (r, i), der in die Lichtleitplatte (15) eintritt, innerhalb des Körpers der Lichtleitplatte (15) ausbreiten und streuen.
     
    11. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der mindestens eine Lichtleitkörper einen Lichtleitstab (20) umfasst, der aus lichtleitendem Material hergestellt ist und sich im Inneren des hinteren Körpers (2) erstreckt, während er mindestens mit einem Abschnitt lokal im Wesentlichen die vordere Halbschale (3) erreicht; wobei der Lichtleitstab (20) so strukturiert ist, dass er durch innere Totalreflexion das Licht, das in den Lichtleitstab (20) von einem ersten Ende (21) des Lichtleitstabes (20) eintritt, zu dem Abschnitt der seitlichen Seite leitet, der im Wesentlichen die vordere Halbschale (3) erreicht.
     
    12. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach Anspruch 11, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass am ersten Ende (21) des Lichtleitstabes (20) eine Hilfsdiffusionslinse (22) mit einem divergenten Profil vorhanden ist, um den kollimierten Lichtstrahl (r, ℓ), der in den Lichtleitstab (20) eintritt, innerhalb des Körpers des Lichtleitstabs (20) auszubreiten und zu streuen.
     
    13. Kraftfahrzeug-Beleuchtungseinheit nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass der mindestens eine Lichtleitkörper (6, 15, 20) aus transparentem Kunststoffmaterial, vorzugsweise durch ein Spritzgussverfahren, hergestellt ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Unité d'éclairage automobile (1) comprenant :
    un corps arrière (2) sensiblement en forme de cuvette ; une demi-coque avant (3) placée devant la bouche du corps arrière (2) ; et au moins un ensemble d'éclairage (4, 5) qui émet de la lumière sur commande, et est situé à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2) de manière à être capable d'éclairer par l'arrière une portion transparente ou semi-transparente correspondante de la demi-coque avant (3) ;
    l'ensemble d'éclairage (4, 5) comprenant au moins un corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) fait d'un matériau photoconducteur, qui est placé à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2) et est structuré pour canaliser, par réflexion interne totale et vers ladite portion transparente ou semi-transparente de la demi-coque avant (3), la lumière qui entre dans le même corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) par le biais d'une extrémité ou d'une paroi de côté de couplage de lumière (8, 17, 21) du même corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) ;
    l'unité d'éclairage automobile (1) étant caractérisée en ce que l'ensemble d'éclairage (4, 5) comprend de plus :

    un dispositif déflecteur de lumière actif (9, 16) qui est placé à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2), faisant face à l'extrémité ou à la paroi de côté de couplage de lumière (8, 17, 21) dudit corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) ; et une source de lumière (10, 18) à alimentation électrique qui est placée à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2) et émet, sur commande, un faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) vers le dispositif déflecteur de lumière actif (9, 16) ;

    le dispositif déflecteur de lumière actif (9, 16) incluant un dispositif MOEMS (12, 24) et une électronique de commande (13, 25) adaptée pour piloter ledit dispositif MOEMS (12, 24), et étant adapté pour réfléchir/dévier ledit faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) vers l'extrémité ou paroi de côté de couplage de lumière (8, 17, 21) dudit corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20), de sorte que le faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) puisse entrer dans le corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) et ensuite voyager à l'intérieur du corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) par réflexion interne totale.


     
    2. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon la revendication 1, caractérisée en ce que le dispositif déflecteur de lumière actif (9, 16) est adapté pour déplacer le faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) d'une manière oscillante le long d'au moins une partie de l'extrémité ou paroi de côté de couplage de lumière (8, 17, 21) dudit corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20), avec une vitesse supérieure à celle perceptible par l'œil humain.
     
    3. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon la revendication 2, caractérisée en ce que le dispositif déflecteur de lumière actif (9, 16) est adapté pour déplacer le faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) d'une manière oscillante le long de sensiblement toute l'extrémité ou paroi de côté de couplage de lumière (8, 17, 21) dudit corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20), avec une vitesse supérieure à celle perceptible par l'œil humain.
     
    4. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ladite électronique de commande (13, 25) est de plus adaptée pour piloter ladite source de lumière (10, 18).
     
    5. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit dispositif MOEMS (12, 24) est une matrice de micromiroirs (DMD), ou un scanner à micromiroirs avec un système de déplacement intégré à commande électronique.
     
    6. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ladite source de lumière (10, 18) est un dispositif d'émission de lumière LASER (10) ou un dispositif d'émission de lumière à LED (18).
     
    7. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que l'ensemble d'éclairage (4, 5) comprend une pluralité de corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) faits d'un matériau photoconducteur, chacun d'eux étant placé à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2) et étant structuré pour canaliser, par réflexion interne totale et vers une portion transparente ou semi-transparente correspondante de la demi-coque avant (3), la lumière qui entre dans le même corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) à travers une extrémité ou paroi de côté de couplage de lumière (8, 17, 21) (8, 17, 21) du même corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) ; le dispositif déflecteur de lumière actif (9, 16) étant adapté pour réfléchir/dévier ledit faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) vers l'extrémité ou paroi de côté de couplage de lumière (8, 17, 21) de chacun desdits corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20), de sorte que le faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) puisse entrer dans le même corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) et ensuite voyager à l'intérieur du même corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) par réflexion interne totale.
     
    8. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit au moins un corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) comprend une barre de section de guide de lumière (6) oblongue qui est faite d'un matériau photoconducteur, et est placé à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2) avec son extrémité avant (7) faisant face à et/ou effleurant sensiblement la demi-coque avant (3), et avec son extrémité arrière (8) faisant face au fond du corps arrière (2) ; la barre de section de guide de lumière (6) étant structurée pour canaliser, par réflexion interne totale jusqu'à l'extrémité avant (7) de la barre de section de guide de lumière (6) oblongue, la lumière qui entre dans la même barre de section de guide de lumière (6) depuis l'extrémité arrière (8) de la barre de section.
     
    9. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit au moins un corps de guide de lumière comprend une plaque de guide de lumière (15), qui est faite d'un matériau photoconducteur et s'étend à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2) avec sa face avant effleurant sensiblement localement la demi-coque avant (3) ; la plaque de guide de lumière (15) étant structurée pour canaliser, par réflexion interne totale jusqu'à la face avant de la même plaque de guide de lumière (15), la lumière qui entre dans la plaque de guide de lumière (15) depuis une paroi de côté (17) latérale de la même plaque.
     
    10. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon la revendication 9, caractérisée en ce que ladite paroi de côté (17) latérale de la plaque de guide de lumière (15) est dotée d'une série d'optiques divergentes (19) qui sont formées de manière à propager et diffuser, à l'intérieur du corps de la plaque de guide de lumière (15), le faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) qui entre dans la plaque de guide de lumière (15).
     
    11. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit au moins un corps de guide de lumière comprend une tige de guide de lumière (20), qui est faite d'un matériau photoconducteur et s'étend à l'intérieur du corps arrière (2) tout en effleurant sensiblement localement, pour au moins une section, la demi-coque avant (3) ; la tige de guide de lumière (20) étant structurée de manière à canaliser, par réflexion interne totale, la lumière qui entre dans la tige de guide de lumière (20) depuis une première extrémité (21) de la même tige de guide de lumière (20), vers la portion du côté latéral qui effleure sensiblement la demi-coque avant (3).
     
    12. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon la revendication 11, caractérisée en ce qu'elle comprend, sur la première extrémité (21) de ladite tige de guide de lumière (20), une lentille de diffusion auxiliaire (22) ayant un profil divergent de manière à propager et diffuser, à l'intérieur du corps de la tige de guide de lumière (20), le faisceau de lumière collimatée (r, ℓ) qui entre dans la tige de guide de lumière (20).
     
    13. Unité d'éclairage automobile selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisée en ce que ledit au moins un corps de guide de lumière (6, 15, 20) est fait d'un matériau plastique transparent, de préférence via un procédé de moulage par injection.
     




    Drawing

















    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description