A new report from Munich reveals that, while Audi was busy trying to shove 300 LEDs into the snout of an A7, BMW's been working on the real future: laser headlights. My cat is going to flip out.
Lasers offer myriad improvements over the stock LED bulbs being used in modern luxury cars: they use less energy, they're brighter, smaller and can be directed at a smaller area.
Being brighter (170 lumens compared to about 100 lumens for LED) and more efficient is an obvious advantage, and being smaller means designers can go insane and create those impossibly thin lights we see on concepts but never see in real life, although BMW denies this is their main purpose.
Most intriguingly is the possibility for a laser-like spotlight to highlight certain obstacles. A laser headlight can, theoretically, send an almost perfect parallel beam of light that's 1,000 times brighter than a conventional LED. Here's how BMW explains it'll work with their "Dynamic Light Spot" system:
The term "Dynamic Light Spot" stands for a marker light system that automatically illuminates pedestrians in good time, thereby guiding the driver's attention.
Not only will it help you see the pedestrians, it should help pedestrians know they should stay out of the street or get HIT WITH A GIANT LASER.
The technology is set to debut on the BMW i8 Concept, with production aimed at some point a few years in the future.