When Lasers and Cars Meet

Recently, I was looking at the future of automotive lighting. I know, that’s really weird right? Who cares about automotive lights? Well, the answer is you. After I show you the future, that is. I’ll start at the front; the future of headlights. BMW has always been one of the leaders in new automotive technology. Back when navigation systems were first making their debut in cars, BMW was like “Oh, those old things?”. By then they already had cool features like HUD (Heads Up Display) in their lineup. Yeah, these features are neat, but what’s cooler than having a TV in your car or HUD to make you feel like Ironman while you’re driving? Freaking lasers are! I highly recommend you watch this video linked below:

If you lost interest or weren’t able to watch the whole thing, that’s fine. That’s what I’m here for. I’m like your internet car butler. Anyway, the video shows a new line of headlights that BMW is introducing. This was at the 2015 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. A city I imagine to be very welcoming to all sorts of lasers. The interesting thing about these laser headlights is that they’re remarkably intuitive. Instead of doing the thinking for you, they think ahead of you. Once the driver reaches a speed of 45 mph, the laser lights automatically activate the high beams, which are directed specifically on the lane in front of you (50 seconds into video). 650 yards ahead of you, to be exact. It’s like your car is using that Superman-laser-eye ability! Another wicked cool feature is that the lights will selectively exclude oncoming traffic from the beams, so you don’t blind people while you’re driving towards them (1:08 into video). I know we can all relate to being blinded by HID and LED lights from oncoming traffic. Finally, the headlights have, to no surprise, lasers that use infrared technology as an early warning system to anything that might jump out in front of your car while you’re driving (1:25 into video).

The next thing I’d like to bring to your attention are these insanely cool and distracting taillights that Audi brought into the picture a couple years ago. They’re called “The Swarm” and they use OLED technology. While they will probably never see their way onto the road due to safety regulations, it’s still insanely cool and fun to look at! Here is a video below of what they are.

First of all, OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diodes, if you were wondering. Which I totally bet you were. Don’t worry, Rev Junkie has your back. They call it “the swarm” supposedly because it looks like a swarm of animals, but I see red blood cells. The cool thing about these conceptual taillights is that they respond and react to the car. For example, when the car increases in speed, the fluctuation and density of the lights increase, like stampeding animals. This leaves a lot of potential for some aggressive styling with the rear-ends of vehicles, in my opinion. The lights will also flow with the direction of the car. If you turn the wheel to the left, the lights will flow to the left. This would help the people behind you, as they would be so distracted looking at the taillights that they wouldn’t notice you turning away. All in all, there are a lot of cool features of the lights. However, you will be more likely to see them in a science museum than you would in the back of your Audi.

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