Saab Wednesday Snippets

If you’re into this sort of thing (and really, only if you’re into it), there’s a short article at Electronics Weekly that’s full of jargon about how the headlights on the Saab Aero-X are actually a type of breakthrough in the field.

Breakthrough or not, I’m happy to just sit around thinking "Man, they look hot".

Proceed with caution, this is an electronics-geek warning.  This link may be written in English, but it’s speaking another language as far as I’m concerned.  You have been warned.

UPDATE: 1985Gripen breaks it down into plain English in comments

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Forbes, those list-loving moneygrabbers, have just published a list of the safest cars on the US market.  The criteria is fairly tough, evident in the fact that only four cars have made the list (though there were restrictions on the number of cars that could make the list, which they explain at the link).  In short, they’re looking for….

….Consumer Reports’ highest rating for accident avoidance, as well as perfect crash-test scores across the board from either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

And the winners are…..

The Acura RL (that’s a Honda Accord Euro for us Aussies)

The Honda Civic, which is apparently selling like hotcakes over there.

The Saab 9-3, Forbes’ favourite in the Saab stable (a favourite of many others too)

The Volvo S80, which I consider to be as ugly as a bashed crab.

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Test mules are everywhere.

Over the weekend I published a photo from iSaab that looked like a test mule 9-3 to me, possibly testing engine emissions (Biopower?) with a car body that looked stragely like a hatch at the back.

Today I’ve received an email from Holland, en edited version of which is reproduced below.  I’m not sure if this is a new safety feature or just test equipment, but the report is interesting nonetheless.  No photos unfortunately as cameras weren’t allowed.

I’ve withheld the author’s name as I’d like him to be able to continue attending such events.

I went to the RDW testtrack nearby Lelystad airport in Holland. I saw there several Saabs (and Scanias) testing (Also a Dacia but that’s a other story).

There were on the parking [lot] two 9-5 estates and one 9-3 estate, all new with Swedish numberplates.
On the testtrack three 9-3ss appeared; Two "complete" 9-3 SS performing braketests and some highspeed testing and one 9-3 SS without a front, with cables and stuff wired from the front-end of the car to the back.
– The frontlights were newstyle 9-5-ish, from the side view in a distance,
– Rearlights were completely red coloured,
– In the front bumpersides, next to the wheels, orange flashlights(?),
– They were braketesting; when they made a emergancy stops, the flashlights and the brakelights started flickering…like a blacklight. Interesting new safety feature, you’ll sure notice that on the highway, in case of heavy braking.

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10 Comments

  1. Having a degree in Electronics Engineering Technology, allow me to translate:

    The headlights in the AeroX are made of ultra-bright Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). An LED is not like a bulb in that it doesn’t have a filiment. It’s completely semiconductor material (germanium is one of the elements, I think, but that’s not important). When you apply power to this combination of elements it becomes luminous, emitting photons (light). LEDs are most commonly found as the little green, red, or amber “light” on consumer electronics. They are not a bulb, they’re an electronics component.

    An LED takes a lot less power to function, unlike fluorescent or incandescent (your typical “light bulb” with a tungsten filiment).

    The real breakthrough on these new LEDs on the AeroX are their efficiency. You get a lot more light for a lot less power input into them.

    Quantity of light is measured in “lumens”. The more lumens, the brighter the light.

    Conventional fluorescent lights, which are pretty efficient, have an efficiency of 50 lumens for every watt of power you put into them (50 l/w). Incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient (as evidenced by the heat they give off which is wasted energy) at around 12 lumens per watt.

    The new LEDs in the AeroX give off 73 lumens per watt!

    When they talk about “color temperature” that’s the color of the light. I don’t know what the “color rendering index” is.

    The thing in the picture is six LEDs in one unit (the “substrate” is a ceramic base and is used as a heat sink to dissipate waste heat) which give off 350 lumen in light, drawing 0.7 amp of current.

    So after all that, in summary it’s simply a very efficient light source that blows-away previous technologies in efficiency.

  2. Thanks Gripen.

    Further proof that in a knowledgable, helpful Saab community, many hands do indeed make light work!

    *baddum tsh*

    And speaking of light bulbs (sort of, they got a mention at least)……How many country and western singers does it take to change a light bulb?

  3. Mercedes has as well been looking at flashing brake lights for “panic stops”

    Autoblog Mention of MBZ’s Flashing Brakelights

    Nice to know that SAAB is keeping up with the Joneses.

  4. People used to say: “ok, it’s year 2000, but where are the flying cars?”

    Me, I say: “ok, it’s year 2006 but where are all the Saabs with 100% LEDs?” This is one of those things that Saab should be all about. It’s high tech, but is’t also very practical (they last the life of the car), it’s safe (you can vary the light with the weather conditions), it’s cool (makes for a whole new thinking in design since you can bascially fill up the front with LEDs).

  5. Gripen:
    I’m not an expert on this so I may be technically somewhat incorrect, but CRI measures how well a light source renders various colors compared to a black body light source. Incandescent lamps are always 100 because they are black body radiators and also radiate a nice smooth spectrum over the visible range, although they are weak on blue and grow gradually stronger toward longer wavelengths. However electroluminescent devices (which I think white organic LEDs are) have spikey emission spectra and usually have some gaps in their spectra because the light emitting coatings emit discrete colors, and it takes multiple coatings to add up to a white looking color.

    Sylvania has more information on the Ostar, but not a lot of detail, here:
    http://www.sylvania.com/AboutUs/Pressxpress/Tradeshowevents/Lightfair/optosemiconductors.htm

    Wikipedia tries to explain CRI here (very confusing though):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_rendering_index

  6. Gripen:
    I’m not an expert on this so I may be technically somewhat incorrect, but CRI measures how well a light source renders various colors compared to a black body light source. Incandescent lamps are always 100 because they are black body radiators and also radiate a nice smooth spectrum over the visible range, although they are weak on blue and grow gradually stronger toward longer wavelengths. However electroluminescent devices (which I think white organic LEDs are) have spikey emission spectra and usually have some gaps in their spectra because the light emitting coatings emit discrete colors, and it takes multiple coatings to add up to a white looking color.

    Sylvania has more information on the Ostar, but not a lot of detail, which I’ve quoted here:
    “Each OSTAR LED contains four chips in high-power, thin-film indium gallium aluminum phosphide (InGaAlP) or indium gallium nitrite (InGaN). Because OSRAM’s thin-film chip emits light only from its top surface, the high chip luminance can increase the optical system efficiency and reduce the size of optics for lighting applications. The OSTAR LED is assembled in modules without a soldering process, and it offers a surface-mount technology electrical connection. The LED itself is screwed directly onto a heat sink with a thermal paste to achieve efficient heat dissipation.”

    Wikipedia tries to explain if you search on “color rendering index” (very confusing though):

  7. The Accord Euro is the Acura TSX, not the TL. The TL is much larger (290 hp V6) and is based on the NA market Accord, not the one the rest of the world gets.

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