Like everything else on cars nowadays, headlamps are getting smarter. We’ve already begun moving away from heavy, space-hogging bulbs in favor of smaller OLEDs, giving us cleaner beams of light in the process. Having brought laser boosted lighting to the market with the i8 hybrid sports car, BMW illuminates the path ahead with BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights vehicle.
The white metallic car itself is just a showcase of how the future lights would look on a typical BMW vehicle. The laser lights themselves starts blue in color, but a phosphor plate inside the light converts it to a bright white light that mimics daylight. The beams are ten times as powerful as any other light source like xenon or LED, and has a projection range of 600 meters.
You’re probably reading this now, imagining how blind you’ll be when one of these heads down the road ahead of you. Don’t worry, BMW’s thought of that, too. Dynamic actuators control the Selective Beam system, which spots oncoming traffic with a set of cameras and prevents the headlights from dazzling oncoming vehicles.
In fact, the dynamic ability of these lamps goes even further, allowing people and animals detected by an infrared camera to be “spotlighted” for the driver’s immediate attention. Forward sensors can also detect if the way ahead has enough clearance for the vehicle and provides a laser projection to indicate the available width.
From a design standpoint, the implementation of laser and OLED headlights open up realm of possibilities to give the vehicle a distinct appearance, front or back. For instance, as each segment can be individually illuminated, the lights could change so something more fierce in appearance if sport mode was selected.
The headlights themselves may be designed to prevent dazzling other drivers, but consider us stunned.