PACCAR has been granted a patent for a headlamp heater that prevents condensation on the lens. The heating element emits infrared radiation that excites water molecules, and it is angled to match the beam pattern of the light source. An electronic control unit adjusts the brightness of the light source and the radiation energy based on measurements from a light sensor. GlobalData’s report on PACCAR gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on PACCAR, Driving behavior monitoring was a key innovation area identified from patents. PACCAR's grant share as of September 2023 was 74%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Headlamp assembly with a heater and light control system

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: PACCAR Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11767957B2) describes a new headlamp assembly that includes a lens, a light source, a heating element, a light sensor, and an electronic control unit. The heating element is positioned apart from the lens and directs radiation to a specific region of the lens associated with the beam pattern of the light source. The light sensor measures the brightness at the lens, and the electronic control unit adjusts the brightness emitted from the light source and the radiation energy emitted from the heating element based on the measured brightness.

The heating element in this headlamp assembly is designed with an emitter surface that has multiple angled surfaces. Each angled surface directs radiation to a sub-region of the lens associated with the beam pattern. The emitter surface may also include a hollow cavity or a heat shielding material. The light source is a light-emitting diode (LED), and the heating element is a ceramic infrared heating element.

The radiation emitted by the heating element is at a wavelength that excites water, which helps reduce precipitation or condensation from accumulating on the lens. The heating element can be made of different materials, such as a ceramic matrix, a coil of resistive wire, or a set of leads. The glaze or shape of the ceramic matrix, the diameter of the resistive wire coil, and the position of the leads can be adjusted or tuned.

This headlamp assembly can be used in various types of vehicle lights, including headlights, tail lights, and signal lights. The heating element is positioned near the base of the lens or below the light source to ensure an unobstructed beam path. It is powered by the vehicle's power source and retained in the headlamp with a bracket.

In another embodiment, the headlamp assembly includes multiple light sources and heating elements, each directed to a specific region of the lens associated with a particular beam pattern. The electronic control unit adjusts the brightness and radiation energy emitted by each light source and heating element based on the measured brightness.

Overall, this patented headlamp assembly offers a solution to prevent precipitation or condensation from obstructing the lens of a vehicle's lights. By controlling the brightness and radiation energy, the assembly ensures optimal visibility and safety for drivers.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.