The future has arrived people! Gone are the days when we use silly things like light bulbs to help man kind see in the dark. Soon, we’ll use lasers! Yes, lasers. Powerful beams of light often associated with the “pew pew” sound will now help light our way in the darkness. Audi is looking to be the first OEM to equip a car, namely the R8 with laser powered headlights. Well, technically the high beams will be lasers. LEDs will be used for the regular lights. The laser high beams will be available as an option in the new R8. Although how much the option will cost is still unknown at this point but it likely won’t be cheap. It also likely won’t be available everywhere. As with most new technologies, different countries and states have to figure out how or if they want to regulate it.
The new laser high beams haven’t been cleared for sale in the U.S. yet and I can’t say I blame our government for taking some time on this. Many people get blinded today by the reflection of current high beams in their rear view mirrors. Imagine what could happen if someone gets a laser beam reflected directly into their peepers? However, this is progress and over time this tech will become the norm and we will be one more step closer to the awesome future that we were promised back in the 80s. I can’t wait to pre-order my hoverboard…
February 16, 2015 | Ingolstadt, Germany
- New mid-engine sports car features high-tech headlights
- Laser high-beam offers high light intensity and excellent range
- Editor’s note: Euro-spec availability
International release from AUDI AG
Currently not available on U.S. models
Audi is revealing the headlights of its new R8 as the first of a number of technology highlights of the top sports car. The R8 uses LED headlights which can be supplemented by a laser high‑beam lighting module as an option.
The new R8 will set new standards among high‑performance sports cars – including in its lighting technology. As an option, the latest car development by Audi can be equipped with a laser spot as the high‑beam headlight. The special appeal of laser lighting is that it uses high‑intensity laser diodes, which generate a lot of light energy from a very small component. Compared to LED high‑beam headlights, laser high‑beams attain nearly twice the lighting range.
Each headlight contains one laser module that operates with four high‑intensity laser diodes. This module bundles the four intense blue‑light laser beams. Then a phosphor converter transforms the blue light into pure white light. An identifying characteristic of the laser headlights is their blue light signature. Standard equipment in the new R8 includes an LED headlight system. All lighting functions are produced with 37 LEDs per headlight.
The laser spot for the high‑beam light made its debut in the summer of 2014 in the Audi R8 LMX, a limited edition model of the previous R8 model series. Shortly before that, it was used in the Audi R18 e‑tron quattro race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The laser spot is the latest production technology in a long line of lighting innovations. Audi introduced LED technology to the market for the first time in 2004 – in the daytime running lights of the Audi A8 L W12. Lighting technologies such as LED daytime running lights, Matrix LED headlights and laser spot high‑beam lights are prime examples of technology that visualize the core values of the Audi brand: progressiveness, sportiness and sophistication.