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There’s a bright idea: Audi working to combine matrix-beam headlamps with laser lights

Audi Laser / Matrix Headlights
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Leave it to Audi to make headlights something interesting to talk about. Not satisfied with their laser light technology, they’re hard at work incorporating that with the matrix-beam system they demonstrated working with LED lighting.

To bring you up to speed, the matrix lighting maps out a grid for the headlight beam area. Instead of shutting off or redirecting the whole beam, the LED tech can simply turn off the light in a section where the light might be blinding. In practical terms, if the car detected an oncoming vehicle, it would still brightly illuminate the dark path in front of the car and just switch off the part of the beam where another vehicle was traveling.

Audi Laser / Matrix Headlights
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Getting this to work with its laser light tech isn’t a matter of just swapping out the light source. Laser light tends to be more direct and intense, so the solution Audi has been working on revolves around a system called the Intelligent Laser Light For Compact and High-Resolution Adaptive Headlights.

It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Mercifully called iLas for short, the system utilizes a rapidly moving micro-mirror that redirects the laser beam. When traveling at low speeds, light is projected in a larger area and narrowed through an aperture when traveling fast on the highway. This gives Audi drivers the best of both worlds: intense, clean beams of light that can illuminate far in front of them, coupled with the fluid dynamics of the LED-matrix system.

No word yet on when any of this tech will be spotted on the front-of-production Audi vehicles, but we’re sure the brand will illuminate us when they’re ready to hit the market.

Alexander Kalogianni
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Alex K is an automotive writer based in New York. When not at his keyboard or behind the wheel of a car, Alex spends a lot of…
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