How ultra-advanced Audi A8 headlights can 'revolutionise' safety

Such is the versatility of the DMH technology that it can also project warning signs onto the road as part of the headlight beam. 

The new A8 projects a warning triangle with an exclamation mark inside it onto the road ahead of the driver. Using live traffic information drawn down by an internet link via the cloud, this warning symbol appears for three seconds, alerting the driver of hazards ahead, such as congestion or a dangerous road surface. 

Further advancing this, including projecting indicator lights onto the road surface, is greatly complicated by having to negotiate with individual countries, according to Audi lighting specialist Johannes Reim.

Even so, Audi says it can envisage more innovations using advanced lighting systems to communicate with pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers. One idea is to use light projections front and rear to inform cyclists of the driver’s intentions or to project a warning light that indicates that the car door is about to be opened.

Audi is also working with suppliers to allow rear light clusters to offer information to following vehicles. Using more advanced OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) in rear light clusters has allowed Audi to use more individual light segments in each cluster.

At the moment these multi-segment rear clusters allow the A8 driver to choose from four different rear light signatures (five on the new Audi S8), and they can also send out an indication of proximity to a following vehicle using data from the car’s rear parking sensors.

Future OLED clusters will jump from 10 segments to 50 and eventually many more. Because OLEDs offer an evenly diffused light that can be tuned precisely, Audi’s lighting designers envisage rear OLED clusters made up of many tiny segments, opening the way for symbols to be presented to following vehicles, such as multiple hazard warning triangles or animations that reflect speed of braking, for example. 

Audi also envisages projecting warning symbols, such as an illuminated snow symbol, from the advanced OLED lights onto the road surface using weather data downloaded from the cloud, warning following vehicles of hazardous conditions.


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