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Hidden Headlamp

Hidden Headlamp

3 minute read

Good design balances beauty and function but great design is truly felt. Finding the right balance between function and form requires a dedication to understanding the user and designing for human-centric solutions. One design that effortlessly blends innovation and aesthetics is the ‘Hidden Headlamp’.

Driving is a sensory experience. A silhouette of strong and clean lines welcomes you as you approach your vehicle, balancing contemporary design with traditional elegance. A light shines to greet you as you reach for the handle that has emerged from its hiding place. You slide into the driver’s seat, brushing against the fabrics woven of plant-based and natural yarns covering the interior. A tap of the ignition button and the car comes to life, as the interior lights dim the headlights glow to illuminate the road ahead of you.

Driving Tucson

Without your senses,
you’re driving blind.

The evolution of mobility has meant that new solutions are always being developed to navigate change and enhance the human senses. Innovative technologies need to be developed with the user in mind and keeping a human-centric approach ensures designs have a positive impact on the lives of the customer.

Hyundai’s proprietary technology across powertrain efficiency, sustainable EVs and FCEVs, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence have been designed specifically with drivers in mind, to enhance their senses. So, it only makes sense that the functions of features change as we enter an era of future mobility and autonomous driving. Essential components such as the headlamp take on greater meaning and need to evolve from simply offering high-performance illumination.

If headlamps were the eyes of past cars, then tomorrow’s headlamps will be the expression of the car.

Tucson front side
Tucson front

If you can dream it,
you can make it.

Hyundai Motors has been meticulous in its development of new technologies, pushing the boundaries of design to explore uncharted territories to capture the attention of customers and provide added value to the driving experience. Embedding human touches to the design process, the automotive designers at Hyundai have given everyone a glimpse of their design philosophy, Sensuous Sportiness.

One such innovation that has been in the works for some time is the ‘Hidden Headlamp’, and after many attempts at mass production, the final design is ready for the world to see.

Headlamp detail
Tucson senior researcher

“Unlike specs and technology, the design is the first thing people see after a new car is released,” explains Shim Joon-Bo, senior researcher, from the Lighting Vision Engineering Design Team at Hyundai Motors.

Shim continues, “The light architecture of the exterior headlamp can give the greatest of first impressions. Everyone is making great-performing headlamps, so we not only need to deliver high-quality but also integrate new technologies such as IFS (Intelligent Front-Lighting System).”

Lighting researcher Soon-Il Lee goes on to explain the function of the ‘Hidden Headlamp’. “Hidden lighting lamps play a very important role in driving safety as they double as turn signals and daytime running lights.”

The Parametric Jewel

One of the key aspects of this new feature is the seamless integration with the cascading grill and setting adequate lighting areas with three-dimensional outer lenses to ensure maximum visibility. This ensures the drivers to have the clearest view of what’s ahead of them but also to be seen by other drivers, improving the safety for all road users.

The all-new TUCSON is the latest model to feature the ‘Hidden Headlamp’, and has various patterns applied to the inner lens to accentuate the crystal aesthetic when turned on, emphasizing they shine like a jewel, with intentional diffused reflection.



The headlamp is on a journey of evolution, and its role within the mobility spectrum will continue to change with autonomous commercialization. One thing is for sure, the designers at Hyundai will remain one step ahead by designing with not only function and form in mind. But designing solutions that can be truly felt.

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