Headlights are about to get even more important

In the future, Audi will use ‘Matrix laser’ headlights to protect pedestrians and to impressively illuminate the road ahead, keeping road users as safe as possible. Audi’s headlights are going to become more than a way of lighting dark roads, evolving into a sophisticated form of communication.

Building on current Matrix LED headlight technology, Audi is taking giant strides forward to light the way in headlight technology. Matrix LED technology utilises 50 horizontal segments that can be turned on and off individually to only light unused sections of the road, not affecting other road users. It offers maximum visibility with high-precision illumination and intelligently avoids road signs to avoid reflecting light into drivers’ eyes.

Audi’s next generation of headlights, Matrix laser, features a grid of over 100,000 micromirrors. Each of these can be individually manipulated, allowing for enormous flexibility. Audi plans to utilise this technology to create new flexible headlight functionality that will be more than just a means of illumination, with the headlights enabling the driver to communicate with the world outside of the car in an effort to maximise safety.

Clever marker lights alert the driver to pedestrians that are close to the edge of the road. Flashing three times in succession, they illuminate the pedestrian for the driver and warn the pedestrian that a vehicle is approaching.

If the car stops to allow a pedestrian to cross, headlights illuminate the path to walk across. Within this light, footprint shapes appear to indicate that it’s safe to cross. When the pedestrian is in front of the car, the Audi system monitors surrounding traffic and alerts the pedestrian with a flashing ‘Stop!’ sign. The Matrix laser system’s micromirrors twist to create these shapes and signs.

From the driver’s perspective, the Matrix laser system’s ‘Active carriageway marking’ system will make navigating roads easier, with a bright line of light within the spread of the headlights marking the side of the carriageway. Another feature, ‘Construction zone lighting’, will emit two bright lines of light to indicate the width of the vehicle – this enables the driver to accurately gauge if the car will fit within certain gaps, so between a lorry and a barrier, through roadworks or around potholes.

This innovative technology is sure to provide added safety for road users and pedestrians when it arrives. In the meantime, make the most of Matrix LED headlights that are available on the Audi A8 – to learn more about this technology or to test drive the A8, contact Jardine Motors Audi.