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Audi’s Matrix Laser headlight technology – brighter roads for safer driving

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Posted April 29, 2015

Speaking about automotive lighting technology there is no doubt that Audi car manufacturer is in the lead. We have already spoken about Audi’s innovative approach to headlights of their cars, when they introduced new R8 supercar, which can be bought with laser high-beam lighting module. However, now brand is further extending its lead in automotive lighting technology with improving its Matrix Laser technology.

Even though it looks like a very complicated and futuristic system, Audi Matrix Laser headlights should be reliable and provide additional safety and comfort for car’s passengers. Image courtesy: Audi

Even though it looks like a very complicated and futuristic system, Audi Matrix Laser headlights should be reliable and provide additional safety and comfort for car’s passengers. Image courtesy: Audi

The main aim with this technology is to make roadway illumination even more flexible and highly versatile in all situations. Matrix Laser headlights are based on LaserSpot for high‑beam lamps, which Audi first introduced to production in the Audi R8 LMX supercar. New technology takes it to a new level. It uses a rapidly moving micro-mirror, which redirects the laser beam and allows it to change lighting according to the speed of the car.

At lower speed new lighting technology allows for a distribution of light to a larger projection area. Road is illuminated at a very wide range. However, when car is driving at higher speeds, wide range of illumination is not that important. Therefore, at high speed the intensity and range of the light are increased significantly. It is especially beneficial for highway driving. The light can also be distributed precisely, which means that brightness of different lighting zones can be varied.

Also entirely new is the lightning-fast activation and deactivation of the laser diodes in relation to the mirror position. It helps with controlling the spread of light in front of the car – broadening or narrowing of the luminous beam is very dynamic and highly variable. Even older Matrix LED technology allows for brightly lit road without causing glare to other participants in traffic, which brings safety benefits as well. However, new Matrix Laser technology offers even finer dynamic resolution and therefore a higher degree of utilization, which leads to even greater safety in road traffic.

For those, who are interested in details of the technology, it uses blue laser diodes, which have a wavelength of 450 nanometres. They radiate their light onto a quickly moving mirror that is three millimetres in size. This mirror is used to redirect the blue laser light to a converter, which converts it to white light and projects it onto the road. The mirror itself is a micro-optical system that features electro-mechanical control and is based on silicon technology and is made by Bosch. Despite the fact that it sounds like a very complicated and unreliable system, it is actually pretty sturdy and well-proven. Similar components are also used in accelerometers and control units for electronic stability control, which is working well for a long time.

Safety technology is not always interesting for common people. However, this headlight technology is also a style statement, adding a little touch to car’s looks. It is also very innovative and should provide greater comfort for long night drives. Even though system is not yet installed in production Audi cars, it is certain that it soon will be. This proves one more time that Audi is on top, when headlight technologies are considered.

Source: Audi

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