Friday, January 13, 2017

Audi Laser Headlights -- not in the US

This is a very cool idea, it's been rumored in various places for a while that this was possible. Included just because it's something interesting done with lasers, computers and cars.

I would hope that it's a highly reliable system. There are a lot of possible unpleasant failure scenarios including highlighting the eyes of a pedestrian with high-powered laser light. -- More at the source

Too bad the “Matrix Laser” system, which debuted as part of Audi’s Q8 concept SUV and does everything from highlighting pedestrians to auto-dimming for the sake on oncoming cars, isn’t welcome in the US.

This tech is Audi’s latest push the reinvent the way drivers see the world around them, and its future-heavy name is actually accurate. “Each headlight uses a single laser as the light source, but the beam is broken into a million distinct pixels by the diodes,” says Volker Kaese, Audi’s director of innovation. A small mirror continuously aims the beam to different sections of the matrix to adjust its projection—wide or narrow, high or low, and anywhere in between.


The fancier moves include projecting words, graphics. Things like, “STOP,” for pedestrians crossing in front of them if cars are coming in the opposite direction that they may not see, or “Again, we’re really sorry about the whole dirty diesel thing.” (Okay, we made that one up.) Or, more practically, it can project lines indicating the width of the car, so you’re sure you’ve got room to squeeze between that 18-wheeler and the highway barrier. The lights can also spotlight specific bits of the road ahead to make sure the driver sees them, like signs, pedestrians, and animals.
The laser lights are more efficient than LEDs, and the projection system is more effective than a head-up display, Kaese argues. “It’s better for your eyes, because you don’t have to refocus or redirect your vision as you’re driving.”

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