History of Automotive Lighting Reutlingen

The history of AL Reutlingen at a glance

Since the beginnings of the industrialized vehicle lighting production in Reutlingen the location has developed into one of the international leading companies in the area of automotive exterior lighting and has helped to define the world market regarding innovative design and technology.

The technology and design requirements of the automobile manufacturers increased rapidly and so did the orientation of the location Reutlingen – from a headlamp manufacturer to a modern development location with highly specialized competence centres.

Automotive Lighting was founded in 1999 as a joint venture between Magneti Marelli and Bosch. With this, the two companies combined their know-how and many years of experience in lighting technology. The history of Magneti Marelli in the lighting sector goes back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, Automotive Lighting is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Magneti Marelli Group.

Milestones on our way to the future

  • 2019

    Let's go!
    Always ready for new challenges.
  • 2018

    First High Resolution Projector Type Headlamp
    Automotive Lighting started a limited series production of IDEAL “Intelligent Digital Electronic Automotive Lighting” headlamps with high resolution DLP-technology (“Digital Light Processing”) using intelligent DMD-units (“Digital Mirror Devices”) for Mercedes-Benz Maybach line.
  • 2018

    First Camera-Controlled LASER Headlamp with ADB
    Automotive Lighting introduced intelligent ADB-headlamps with second generation LASER-modules and integrated safety control concept. Electronically controlled LASER-modules are generating Glarefree High Beam and adapt electro-mechanically the vertical and horizontal cut-off-lines.
  • 2016

    First REAL MATRIX Headlamp on the Road
    The matrix module with 84 pixel in 3 rows was engineered and developed for Mercedes-Benz. Series production at Automotive Lighting started early 2017.
  • 2015

    Automotive Lighting and Audi
    are honored by the Red Dot Design Award. “Best of the Best” for the headlamp of Audi TT3 electronic 1-row matrix.
  • 2015

    Automotive Lighting
    received the Red Dot Design Award. “Winner” for the taillamp concept with OLED-lightsources and progressively animated functions.
  • 2014

    LASER-battle by BMW and Audi
    With BMW i8, the bavarian carmaker brings the first Laser High Beam on the road. Audi speeds up and announces at the same time its first Laser High Beam in the R8 LMX model. The headlamp of Audi was made by Automotive Lighting.
  • 2013

    All-LED Headlamp with electro-mechanical ADB
    Automotive Lighting proves that the glare-free high beam can be realized by dynamic reflectors BMW 4- and 6-Series.
  • 2013

    First intelligent All-LED Headlamp with ANV and PML
    The intelligent adaptive headlamp with Active Night Vision (ANV) in IRED-technology and Pulsed Marker Light (using motoric controlled cutoff-line) is launched by Automotive Lighting in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
  • 2012

    100 years of Electrical Automotive Lighting
    Technology anniversary celebrating
    • since 1978 vehicle lighting from Carello
    • since 1912 electrical automotive lighting from Carello
    • since 1913 full electric lighting systems from Bosch
  • 2011

    Red Dot Design Award
    for the design of the intelligent camera controlled All-LED headlamp “Intelligent Light System” (ILS) of Mercedes-Benz CLS 2nd generation.
  • 2011

    Introduction of the PML for Pedestrian Protection
    The world’s first LED „Active Night Vision“ system (ANV) with LED-based „Pulsed Marker Light“ (PML) is introduced in the Mercedes-Benz in CL-class Coupe.
  • 2010

    Daimler Innovation Award
    for the camera controlled All-LED headlamp. The intelligent high-performance headlamp in the Mercedes CLS was presented in 2010 in Paris: The All-LED headlamp adapts automatically the beam pattern using electric actuators in a dynamic mode corresponding to all driving situation.
  • 2010

    First Fully Electronical Controlled Adaptive All-LED Headlamp
    Camera-controlled all-LED-headlamp with electronically controlled adaptive functions started in series production for Audi A7.
  • 2008

    First World-Wide Series All-LED Headlamp
    Audi and AL developed the first „true“ All-LED headlamp for the Audi R8. The first time that all lighting functions of a vehicle headlamp were realized by using only electronical light sources.

    First standard LED ECU for high-power main lighting functions.

    Automotive Lighting's first All-LED headlamp in the Audi R8 was awarded the „red dot award“ in 2008 in the category of product design.
  • 2005

    AFS with Active Infrared Emitter in Mercedes-Benz S-Class
    In 2005, Mercedes-Benz created a sensation with the first world-wide sold active night vision System ANV. Like the AFS-headlamp as a whole, the active infrared emitter is supplied by Automotive Lighting, Brotterode, Germany.
  • 2003

    Automotive Lighting
    becomes 100 % subsidiary of Magneti Marelli.
  • 2003

    Introduction of Dynamic Curve Light
    BMW launches Xenon headlamps with dynamically swivelled projector units. Automotive Lighting started in 2003 to equip several BMW series with this new adaptive lighting technology: 3, 6 and X3-Series.

    Integrated AFS Xenon ECUs: “AL-Box”
    Automotive Lighting developed the AL-Box, the world first fully integrated Xenon ECU with steppermotor driver and intelligent CAN-Bus gateway for BMW’ and Mercedes-Benz’ headlamps.
  • 1999

    Joint venture of Bosch and Magneti Marelli
    A new global lighting player is created: Automotive Lighting.
  • 1991

    A new epoque in vehicle lighting started – Xenon-light: Electronic controlled and ignitor switched high intensity discharge bulbs were used the first time in series cars‘ headlamps. Light color changed from 2.800 to 4.600 K – close to daylight. The luminous flux of these first Xenon bulbs trippled the light performance from former 1.000 to more than 3.000 lm. A visibility range of 125 m in low beam and 250 m in high beam mode improved the safety conditions of night time driving.
  • 1986

    BMW 7-Series Projector Type Headlamp
    Instead of parabolic reflectors used so far, this headlamp was the first to have projectors with aspheric inner lenses and reflector surfaces in the form of a three-axis ellipsoid, with the bulb in the focal point (Hella “DE” or Bosch “PES” headlamp).

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