A innovative concept wins through
The bright light beams emitted by the world’s first precision laser vehicle headlamps, which can be found on the new BMW i8 and BMW 7 series models, can project a wide span of light up to 656 yards, effectively illuminating the road ahead. The light comes from laser diodes that beam blue light through a ceramic phosphor platelet, converting the beams to a single white ‘point source‘ – because headlamp light has to be white.
The advantages of this innovative technology are particularly evident in the dark because it is far brighter and gives the driver much better visibility. Even at dusk or dawn, BMW and OSRAM’s headlamps are seen by oncoming vehicles far sooner than they would see conventional headlamps. The two companies also collaborated closely on the development of further mechanisms that enhance safety in the event that the headlight system fails. For example, they have made sure that the blue laser beam - which is damaging to the human eye - is deactivated if the vehicle is involved in an accident or the lighting system is manipulated. The system also prevents oncoming or preceding vehicles being dazzled and allows the laser high beam to be left on at all times.
This system doesn’t just give BMW a decisive market advantage, it’s nomination for the ‘Deutscher Zukunftspreis’ award also ensures that the innovative technology will be duly recognised. The laser headlamps were first installed in the i8, making it the world’s first vehicle ever to be equipped with this technology.
It wouldn’t be the first time that an award has been presented for technology, because BMW developers Dr Abdelmalek Hanafi and Dr Helmut Erdl received the Berthold Leibinger Innovation Award back in 2014. It earned them widespread recognition in the automotive sector.
A partnership of light and technology
BMW’s consistent and close collaboration with OSRAM had very positive impacts on the management of the project. The leading provider of lighting solutions was the perfect partner to help BMW develop this innovative lighting technology. In fact, it was only possible to implement this project because of their close supplier-customer relationship and high motivation. Right from the outset, BMW and OSRAM knew exactly what they wanted to achieve, so they were able to focus on design and production. This initial situation made the process of managing the project much easier, while the dedicated project team and their innovative ideas created the ultimate product.
The project’s success was down to both OSRAM and BMW. And that’s one of the reasons why their concept has achieved such widespread recognition. The ‘Deutscher Zukunftspreis’ probably won’t be the last award that these two companies receive for their exemplary partnership and successful product.
Successful project management by OSRAM and BMW
It was the collaborative ideas of the automobile manufacturer and the OSRAM engineers that resulted in the perfect product. This is a rare example of project management excellence. Projects involving just one organisation often fail if the people responsible lack motivation or the wrong objectives lead to the wrong solutions. The more people there are managing the project, the more complex it generally is to implement. BMW and OSRAM have clearly demonstrated that effective collaboration is possible, even when there are different organisational structures involved and each organisation takes a different approach.
They have also shown that good project management practices make it relatively easy to close out even a complex project successfully. Sometimes you just need fresh approaches that add momentum - as was the case with OSRAM and BMW. These two companies thoroughly deserve to win the award for their concept. Congratulations from the IAPM.
Deutscher Zukunftspreis award ceremony
The Zukunftspreis was presented by German Federal President Joachim Gauck on 30 November. It shows the potential for innovation and collaboration that exists in Germany. Perhaps a few other companies will now be encouraged to follow OSRAM and BMW’s example of outstanding project management.
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