Laser headlamps shine ahead of Frankfurt motor show
Wednesday 07 September 2011
BMW is set to unveil a new headlight technology at the Frankfurt Motor Show which uses lasers instead of traditional lamps or LEDs, mirroring a similar move from its competitor Audi.
The technology, to be debuted on the hybrid BMW i8 concept, uses laser diodes to illuminate the road ahead, which it says is more efficient than standard light emitting diodes used by many vehicles today.
The change, according to BMW, produces a light intensity nearly twice as bright as that of LED headlights, using a single color and in a straight line.
The largest selling point is its considerably-enhanced efficiency - while producing a significant increase in brightness, the laser diodes use half the power, greatly improving the fuel economy of the headlights.
As the new system also uses noticeably less space, large car headlights could disappear from the front of vehicles altogether, although BMW concedes that there are no plans to reduce headlight size at the moment.
Although BMW will be the first to display laser headlamps, it won't be the only name at the show exploring the technology in a concept vehicle - Audi revealed last week that it plans to debut a concept with laser tail lamps.
The vehicle, a concept A2, will use a laser beam to display a marking on the road behind to alert other drivers to the car's presence during low visibility conditions such as fog.
Both models will be on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs September 15-25 in Frankfurt, Germany.
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