(19)
(11)EP 3 670 259 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
24.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/26

(21)Application number: 18214025.1

(22)Date of filing:  19.12.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B60Q 1/08  (2006.01)
B62J 6/02  (2020.01)
B60Q 1/076  (2006.01)
(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
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(71)Applicant: ZKW Group GmbH
3250 Wieselburg (AT)

(72)Inventors:
  • Kyselica, Jaroslav
    95703 Dezerice (SK)
  • Kucka, Tomás
    95144 Výèapy/Opatovce (SK)

(74)Representative: Patentanwaltskanzlei Matschnig & Forsthuber OG 
Biberstraße 22 Postfach 36
1010 Wien
1010 Wien (AT)

  


(54)ILLUMINATION DEVICE FOR VEHICLE HEADLAMPS


(57) Illumination device (1) for vehicle headlamps, especially for single-track vehicle headlamps, comprising:
- an optical unit (100), which is configured to form a light distribution with a cut-off line, and
- an adjusting mechanism (200) for rotating the optical unit (100) about a first axis (X) by means of a pivot bearing (300), wherein
the pivot bearing (300) comprises a first ring (310) and a second ring (320), wherein the optical unit (100) is attached to the first ring (310), and wherein the adjusting mechanism (200) comprises a holder (210), attached to the second ring (320), a gear wheel element (220), which is inserted in an opening area of the holder (210), said gear wheel element (220) is attached to the first ring (310), and a linear drive (230) with a toothed rack (231), configured to generate a linear motion of the toothed rack (231) along a second axis (A), in order to convert a linear motion of the toothed rack (231) into an angular motion of the gear wheel element (220) and the optical unit (100) about the first axis (X).




Description


[0001] The invention relates to an illumination device for vehicle headlamps, especially for single-track vehicle headlamps, comprising:
  • an optical unit with at least one light source, said optical unit is configured to form a light distribution with a cut-off line, said light distribution being radiated into a main beam direction and
  • an adjusting mechanism for rotating the optical unit about a first axis by means of a pivot bearing, wherein the first axis is oriented parallel to the main beam direction.


[0002] Further, the invention relates to a stabilized illumination device, comprising at least one illumination device according to the invention, an external control unit and at least one roll angle sensor configured to determine a roll angle from a defined standard position of the illumination device around the first axis, said external control unit is configured to frequently, preferably constantly, receive a roll angle from the at least one roll angle sensor and to control the adjusting mechanism in order to keep the optical unit in the standard position.

[0003] Moreover, the invention relates to a vehicle headlamp for single-track vehicles, comprising at least one illumination device and/or at least one stabilized illumination device.

[0004] A problem encountered in the case of single-track motor vehicles, such as motorcycles, as they are driven around curves due to the inclination of the vehicle. As a rule, a headlight that is rigidly connected with the motorcycle or with the fork of the motorcycle can no longer illuminate the roadway in front of the motorcycle in an optimum fashion.

[0005] It should be noted, that the invention is basically suitable for every vehicle that experience inclination during cornering.

[0006] The setup of the light distribution, in particular a low beam distribution, is prescribed by law and measured on the vehicle standing straight. In each turn, the vehicle tilts with the headlamp or the illumination device about the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.

[0007] As a result, on one hand the visibility in the curve is reduced, on the other hand the oncoming traffic is blinded. This leads to a significant impairment of traffic safety.

[0008] There are various approaches in the state of the art to remedy this problem; by way of example, it might be mentioned that one can make provision for positioning the entire headlight in the motorcycle in an accordingly movable manner so that it can be swung simply upon the inclination of the motorcycle.

[0009] This is disadvantageous since the positioning of the entire headlight of the motorcycle is expensive, and also, since the entire headlight must be swung when driving around a curve. As a result, one must move a relatively great mass, the movement becomes slow, and furthermore, much structural space is required.

[0010] It is an object of the invention to provide an enhanced illumination device.

[0011] To achieve this object, the illumination device of the initially mentioned kind is further developed in that the pivot bearing comprises a first ring and a second ring, arranged concentrically and rotatable to each other about the first axis, wherein the optical unit is attached to the first ring, and that
the adjusting mechanism comprises
  • a holder, attached to the second ring,
  • a gear wheel element, which is inserted in an opening area of the holder and rotatable about the first axis, said gear wheel element is attached to the first ring of the pivot bearing, and
  • a linear drive with a toothed rack, said linear drive is attached to the holder and configured to generate a linear motion of the toothed rack along a second axis,
wherein the toothed rack is configured to engage with the gear wheel in order to convert a linear motion of the toothed rack into an angular motion of the gear wheel element and the optical unit about the first axis.

[0012] If, when driving along a curve, the motor vehicle inclines into the curve, then only the optical unit, which forms a light distribution, preferably a low beam distribution with a cut-off line, upon a roadway, is tilted or rotated around the first axis so that the light image on the roadway is accordingly adapted. It is now no longer necessary to rotate the entire headlamp, as is the case in the state of the art.

[0013] By rotating the entire optical unit, one can make sure that the entire light image or light distribution is rotate accordingly and not just parts thereof. That prevents undesirable disturbing effects on the light distribution that is adapted to the inclination of the vehicle.

[0014] For example, motorcycle headlamps have a beam pattern that is shaped in accordance with legal requirements to illuminate the road ahead without blinding the opposite traffic. The pattern suits all the requirements when it is aligned with the horizon. However, when the motorcycle rolls as in taking a curve, the range of the light beam on the inner side of the curve is significantly reduced, thus causing a safety risk in that the driver cannot see objects ahead in his path, whilst the light beam on the outer side of the curve blinds the opposite traffic.

[0015] Advantageously, the optical unit is arranged on one side of the pivot bearing and the holder is arranged on the side facing away from the optical unit of the pivot bearing.

[0016] This arrangement is very space-saving, in particular if the illumination device is arranged in a vehicle headlamp.

[0017] Preferably, the linear drive comprises an actuating element, preferably a rod-shaped element on which the toothed rack is attached, said actuating element is moveable along the second axis.

[0018] Advantageously, the gear wheel element comprises a base-body from which a gear wheel is protruding, said base-body is inserted in the opening area of the holder.

[0019] In an assembled state of the illumination device, the gear wheel is protruding along the first axis from the base-body.

[0020] The gear wheel element can be made of an integral piece of one material or a single molded piece.

[0021] Advantageously, the adjusting mechanism comprises an internal control unit to control the linear drive.

[0022] Preferably, the pivot bearing is a ball bearing or a sliding bearing.

[0023] Preferably, the optical unit comprises at least one light-forming component configured to form the light distribution of the optical unit by forming the light emitted by the at least one light source, wherein the at least one optical unit is arranged on a mount, said mount is attached to the first ring of the pivot bearing.

[0024] Preferably, the optical unit comprises at least one heatsink configured to dissipate the heat of the at least one light source.

[0025] Advantageously, the at least one light source is arranged on the at least one heatsink.

[0026] Advantageously, the at least one heatsink is configured as a mount.

[0027] Advantageously, the mount is a heatsink configured to dissipate the heat of the at least one light source.

[0028] Advantageously, the at least one light-forming component is designed as a reflector and/or a light-guiding element.

[0029] Advantageously, the at least one light-forming component is designed as a light-guiding element. The light-guiding element represents any part/material/medium which geometry allows a total inner reflection.

[0030] Advantageously, the optical unit comprises at least one projection lens and/or a shade.

[0031] Advantageously, the optical unit can be rotated within an angle between 0° and 70° about the first axis.

[0032] The object can also be achieved by stabilized illumination device for irradiating a stabilized light distribution, comprising at least one illumination device, an external control unit and at least one roll angle sensor configured to determine a roll angle from a defined standard position of the illumination device around the first axis, said external control unit is configured to frequently, preferably constantly, receive a roll angle from the at least one roll angle sensor and to control the adjusting mechanism in order to keep the optical unit in the standard position.

[0033] More specifically, the stabilized illumination device is configured for automatically maintaining the pattern of the light beam or light distribution levelled horizontally in the face of variations in the roll angle of the vehicle with respect to the horizon.

[0034] A standard position represents a normal position assumed by the rotatable optical unit during the straight forward drive of a motorcycle and is, when expressed in terms of the angle of rotation of the optical unit around the first axis, represented by a zero angle position. Hereby, the optical unit can rotate up to +/- 35° from the standard position.

[0035] The roll angle of the vehicle can be determined by various already known techniques; for example, it can be determined via ultrasound or gyroscopically or by pressure comparison in motorcycle fork legs.

[0036] The object can also be achieved by a vehicle headlamp for single-track vehicles, comprising at least one illumination device and/or at least one stabilized illumination device.

[0037] In the following, in order to further demonstrate the present invention, illustrative and non-restrictive embodiments are discussed, as shown in the drawings, which show:

Fig. 1A a perspective view of an illumination device comprising an optical unit and an adjusting mechanism for rotating the optical unit;

Fig. 1B a schematic cross section along axis B-B of Fig. 1A,

Fig. 2A a back view of the illumination device of Fig. 1A,

Fig. 2B a detailed view of a linear drive and a gear wheel element of the adjusting mechanism of Fig. 2A or Fig. 1A;

Fig. 3A a schematic representation of a light distribution with a vehicle headlamp of a single-track vehicle driving straight forward;

Fig. 3B a schematic representation of a light distribution with a vehicle headlamp according to prior art of a single-track vehicle driving along a curve;

Fig. 3C a schematic representation of a light distribution with a vehicle headlamp according to the invention of a single-track vehicle driving, inclined along a curve; and

Fig. 4 a schematic representation of a stabilized illumination device.



[0038] Fig. 1A shows an illumination device 1 for vehicle headlamps, especially for single-track vehicle headlamps, in a perspective view. The illumination device 1 of Fig. 1A comprising an optical unit 100 with two light-forming components, which are formed as reflectors 110, said reflectors 110 are configured to form a light distribution with a cut-off line, which is radiated into a main beam direction X1, by means of the light of two light sources 101, respectively. The optical unit 100 further comprises a heatsink 120, configured to dissipate the heat of the light sources 101, wherein the reflectors 110 and the light sources 101 are mounted on the heatsink 120.

[0039] The illumination device 1 further comprises an adjusting mechanism 200 for rotating the optical unit 100 about a first axis X by means of a pivot bearing 300, as shown in Fig. 1B, wherein the first axis X is oriented parallel to the main beam direction X1.

[0040] The pivot bearing 300 comprises a first ring 310 and a second ring 320, arranged concentrically and rotatable to each other about the first axis X, wherein the optical unit 100 is attached to the first ring 310. The pivot bearing 300 can be a ball bearing or a sliding bearing, wherein the optical unit 100 can be rotated at a maximum angle of 70° about the first axis X.

[0041] The adjusting mechanism 200 comprises a holder 210, attached to the second ring 320, a gear wheel element 220, which comprises a base-body 221 from which a gear wheel 222 is protruding, said base-body 221 is inserted in an opening area of the holder 210 and is rotatable about the first axis X, said gear wheel element 220 is attached to the first ring 310 of the pivot bearing 300, said adjusting mechanism further comprises a linear drive 230 with a toothed rack 231, said linear drive 230 is attached to the holder 210 and configured to generate a linear motion of the toothed rack 231 along a second axis A.

[0042] The gear wheel element 220 can be made as an integral piece of one material or a single molded piece.

[0043] Further, the optical unit 100 is arranged on one side of the pivot bearing 300 and the holder 210 is arranged on the side facing away from the optical unit 100 of the pivot bearing 300.

[0044] As can be seen for instance in Fig. 2B in more detail, the toothed rack 231 engages with the gear wheel element 220 in order to convert a linear motion of the toothed rack 231 along the second axis A into an angular motion of the gear wheel element 220 and the optical unit 100 about the first axis X. The linear drive 230 comprises an actuating element 232, on which the toothed rack 231 is attached, said actuating element 232 is configured to carry out a linear motion along the second axis A.

[0045] In the example shown in Fig. 2B, the adjusting mechanism 200 comprises an internal control unit (not shown) to control the linear drive 230.

[0046] Fig. 3A shows a motorcycle 20 with a stabilized illumination device 2 for stabilizing a light distribution 10, wherein the motorcycle 20 drives straight forward with no tilt or any roll angle, which determine a standard position for the motorcycle 20 and/or the light distribution 10, and the cut-off line 11 of the light distribution 10 is parallel to the horizon H. The entire illumination device can be arranged in a fixed manner in a housing (not shown) closed by means of a covering disc or a headlight lens, and built into a motor vehicle in a corresponding opening.

[0047] Fig. 3B shows an inclined motorcycle 21 with a vehicle headlamp of prior art, wherein the light distribution 10 formed by the vehicle headlamp is not rotated around the first axis X, therefore the cut-off line 11 of the light distribution 10 is not parallel to the horizon during driving along a curve and could blind oncoming traffic.

[0048] Fig. 3C shows the motorcycle of Fig. 3A, said motorcycle 20 drives along a curve and is inclined at a roll angle α, as can be seen in Fig. 3C. The light distribution 10 in Fig. 3C is aligned or rotated around the first axis X about the same amount of the roll angle α due to the stabilized illumination device 2, but in the opposite direction or inclination of the tilted motorcycle 20.

[0049] Fig. 4 shows a schematic representation of the stabilized illumination device 2 of Fig. 3A and 3C, said stabilized illumination device 2 comprises at least one illumination device 1 according to the invention, an external control unit 410 and at least one roll angle sensor 420 configured to determine a roll angle α from a defined standard position of the illumination device 1 around the first axis X, for instance the determined standard position in regard to Fig. 3A, said external control unit 410 is configured to frequently, preferably constantly, receive a roll angle α from the at least one roll angle sensor 420 and to control the adjusting mechanism 200 in order to keep the optical unit 100 in the standard position. In other words, the external control unit 410 uses the signal from the roll angle sensor 420 to control the adjusting mechanism 200 to adjusting the rotational orientation of the optical unit 100.

[0050] More specifically, the stabilized illumination device 2 is configured for automatically maintaining the pattern of the light beam or light distribution levelled horizontally in the face of variations in the roll angle α of the vehicle with respect to the horizon.

[0051] A standard position represents generally a normal position assumed by the rotatable optical unit 100 during the straight forward drive of a motorcycle and is, when expressed in terms of the angle of rotation of the optical unit 100 around the first axis X, represented by a zero angle position.

[0052] The roll angle α of the vehicle can be determined by various already known techniques; for example, it can be determined via ultrasound or gyroscopically or by pressure comparison in motorcycle fork legs.

LIST OF REFERENCE SIGNS



[0053] 
Illumination device... 1
Stabilized illumination device... 2
Light distribution... 10
Cut-off line... 11
Motorcycle... 20
Motorcycle (prior art)... 21
Optical unit... 100
Light source... 101
Light-forming member... 110
Heat sink... 120
Adjusting mechanism... 200
Holder... 210
Gear wheel element... 220
Base-body... 221
Gear wheel... 222
Linear drive... 230
Toothed rack... 231
Actuating element... 232
Pivot bearing... 300
First ring... 310
Second ring... 320
External control unit... 410
Roll angle sensor... 420
Roll angle... α (Alpha)
First axis... X
Main beam direction... X1
Second axis... A
Horizon... H



Claims

1. Illumination device (1) for vehicle headlamps, especially for single-track vehicle headlamps, comprising:

- an optical unit (100) with at least one light source (101), said optical unit (100) is configured to form a light distribution with a cut-off line, wherein the light distribution being radiated in a main beam direction (X1) and

- an adjusting mechanism (200) for rotating the optical unit (100) about a first axis (X) by means of a pivot bearing (300), wherein the first axis (X) is oriented parallel to the main beam direction (X1),

characterized in that
the pivot bearing (300) comprises a first ring (310) and a second ring (320), arranged concentrically and rotatable to each other about the first axis (X), wherein the optical unit (100) is attached to the first ring (310), and that
the adjusting mechanism (200) comprises

- a holder (210), attached to the second ring (320),

- a gear wheel element (220), which is inserted in an opening area of the holder (210) and rotatable about the first axis (X), said gear wheel element (220) is attached to the first ring (310) of the pivot bearing (300), and

- a linear drive (230) with a toothed rack (231), said linear drive (230) is attached to the holder (210) and configured to generate a linear motion of the toothed rack (231) along a second axis (A),

wherein the toothed rack (231) is configured to engage with the gear wheel element (220) in order to convert a linear motion of the toothed rack (231) into an angular motion of the gear wheel element (220) and the optical unit (100) about the first axis (X).
 
2. Illumination device (1) according to claim 1, wherein the optical unit (100) is arranged on one side of the pivot bearing (300) and the holder (210) is arranged on the side facing away from the optical unit (100) of the pivot bearing (300).
 
3. Illumination device (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the linear drive (230) comprises an actuating element (232), on which the toothed rack (231) is attached, said actuating element (232) is moveable along the second axis (A).
 
4. Illumination device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the gear wheel element (220) comprises a base-body (221) from which a gear wheel (222) is protruding, said base-body (221) is inserted in the opening area of the holder (210).
 
5. Illumination device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the adjusting mechanism (200) comprises an internal control unit to control the linear drive (230).
 
6. Illumination device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the pivot bearing (300) is a ball bearing.
 
7. Illumination device (1) according to claims 1 to 5, wherein the pivot bearing (300) is a sliding bearing.
 
8. Illumination device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the optical unit (100) comprises at least one light-forming component (110) configured to form the light distribution of the optical unit (100) by forming light emitted by the at least one light source (101), and wherein the optical unit (100) is arranged on a mount, said mount is attached to the first ring (310) of the pivot bearing (300).
 
9. Illumination device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the optical unit (100) comprises at least one heatsink (120) configured to dissipate the heat of the at least one light source (101).
 
10. Illumination device (1) according to claim 8, wherein the mount is a heatsink (120) configured to dissipate the heat of the at least one light source (101).
 
11. Illumination device (1) according to claim 8 to 10, wherein the at least one light-forming component (110) is designed as a reflector and/or a light-guiding element.
 
12. Illumination device (1) according to claim 8 to 10, wherein the optical unit (100) comprises at least one projection lens and/or a shade.
 
13. Illumination device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the optical unit (100) can be rotated within an angle between 0° and 70° about the first axis (X).
 
14. Stabilized illumination device (2) for irradiating a stabilized light distribution, comprising at least one illumination device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, an external control unit (410) and at least one roll angle sensor (420) configured to determine a roll angle (α) from a defined standard position of the illumination device (1) around the first axis (X), said external control unit (410) is configured to frequently, preferably constantly, receive a roll angle (α) from the at least one roll angle sensor (420) and to control the adjusting mechanism (200) in order to keep the optical unit (100) in the standard position.
 
15. Vehicle headlamp for single-track vehicles, comprising at least one illumination device (1) according to claim 1 to 13 and/or at least one stabilized illumination device (2) according to claim 14.
 




Drawing