22/12/15: With the shortest day of the year upon us, there’s no better time to pay attention to Audi’s innovative lighting technology, illuminating the roads via the most sophisticated automation.
All Audi models feature low energy, high intensity LEDs, with laser lighting becoming more and more prominent. A notable example is the new Audi R8 super sports car, which uses laser technology for the first time in its spotlights. The laser spots activate at 37mph to double the range of high-beam light, with four laser diodes which generate a blue beam, converted into white light with a colour temperate of 5,500 Kelvin.
The Audi Matrix LED unit is currently favoured by the brand, providing a strong beam without dazzling other road users. The unit operates entirely electronically, with no mechanical parts, using individual light-emitting diodes which react to leading and oncoming traffic in an instant.
Audi aim to eventually phase out conventional bulbs in rear lights, replacing them with OLED units and ‘swarm’ technology. OLED coatings which are applied to a car’s sheet metal bodywork are currently being tested, creating a ‘swarm’ through a continuous light surface and illuminating the vehicle in accordance to turns, stops and acceleration. This will offer increased visibility for other road users, with the ability to read the actions of the car ahead in seconds.
Audi are also working to produce a laser rear fog light, using a diode to produce a crisp signal from the rear of the car, keeping other road users at a safe distance. The fan-shaped light has a downward incline and is seen as red when environmental lighting is good. The width of the light then extends, depending on the distance of the trailing vehicle. At 30 metres away, the line will appear as wide as the car, giving a clear warning to allow a safe distance. In poor weather, such as fog, the laser beam strikes water droplets in the air to make them visible, taking the shape of a large warning triangle.
Every Audi ordered in S line specification is currently equipped with LED running lighting technology as standard. The A1, A3, A5 and Q5 S models are fitted with Xenon plus lights and LED daytime running lights for a diverse spread, while the all-new A4, A6, A7 Sportback, Q7 and TT S line versions have advanced to all-LED headlamps, delivering illumination on a par with daylight, alongside low energy consumption and an impressive service life.