Ford is looking for the next great advance in LED, or light emitting diode, technology. The company is partnering with NextEnergy to help advance state-of-the-art automotive lighting, and have announced a challenge to automotive industry suppliers.
The initiative was announced at a lighting exposition held at Ford’s Product Development Center, where 30 suppliers and would be suppliers, gathered to discuss how to confront the challenges presented by Ford and the ever changing lighting market.
Some of the innovations Ford and NextEnergy asked suppliers to address include:
- Featherweight challenge: Develop lighting products that create the greatest amount of light (in lumens) with the lowest weight
- Design for manufacturing challenge: Conceive ways to make existing advanced lighting technology cost-effective and suitable for high-volume production
- Daylighting LEDs: Create interior ceiling LED (light-emitting diode) lights that emulate daylight
- Structural lighting: Integrate LEDs and OLEDs (organic light-emitting diode) into interior and exterior structural components, such as seats and door panels
- Lifecycle challenge: Foster the design of recyclable lighting technology, including biodegradable lighting
The challenge begins on November 19th, and Ford as well as NextEnergy will outline a scoring matrix to determine winners late next year. Prizes provided by the two companies will include a lump sum of up to $40,000.
“NextEnergy’s collaboration with Ford will encourage open innovation,” said Jean Redfield, president and CEO, NextEnergy. “While this technology challenge will solicit global solutions, we expect Michigan’s advanced lighting industry to be among the solution providers, driving significant economic activity in the state.”
As LED lighting continues to advance rapidly, its no wonder Ford has tapped the supplier community to look for the next greatest way to use the efficient tech. With nearly every vehicle using LED running lights in some fashion, it will be refreshing to see what suppliers can dream up.