Audi has been dazzling customers with its headlights for ages now. In fact, ever since the C6-generation Audi A6, customers have been fascinated with Audi’s headlight designs. One of the reasons for that is that Audi invests heavily into headlight technology. One such technology is Audi’s Digital Matrix LED Lighting, which is capable of displaying exact amounts of light in specific areas of the road ahead, even being able to create shapes and letters on the pavement.
The idea is to provide the exact amount of light, exactly where it’s needed on the road. The tech started out rather simply, called Matrix LED Lighting, and it allowed for drivers to have full beams of light without dazzling oncoming drivers. It did this by shutting off some of the 32 different LED diodes in the headlights, those of which that would otherwise blind oncoming cars. Now, though, the tech is called Digital Matrix LED Lighting and it’s the future.
Essentially, these new lights use zillions of microscopic mirrors on a single, coin-sized chip, and a front-facing camera, that can be used to reflect the LED light into exact shapes, directions and even different brightness levels. For instance, the light can illuminate the entire road ahead but also create a deeper, brighter light that only illuminates between the lane markers ahead. So it can not only help you see but keep your lane as well. It can even place chevrons on the road ahead that signify your car’s width, so you know how close you’re getting to the lane, or anything else.
If the front-facing camera notices that your beam of light is going to dazzle or blind oncoming drivers, it will carve out a little patch of darkness of that car to pass comfortably. As soon as the oncoming car has passed, that space will again be illuminated.
One of its sillier tricks is its ability to display images onto the road ahead. It can even right out test in light, which is a bit of a party trick but still cool.
It’s a fascinating new system and we can’t wait to test it out in the real world. Seeing car-width chevrons placed on the road ahead, or having only your lane illuminated brightly, should be incredibly helpful in real-world driving.