Laser Headlights – They’re Not Strapped To Sharks Are They?
This awesome story is brought to us by PopularMechanics.com. You heard right…LASER HEADLIGHTS! Who wouldn’t want that?! But, how do they work, and what does this mean in actual use? At the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show, Audi announced that laser-based lights will make it into production cars. And Audi’s 2014 R18 race car, which will compete at the 24 Hours of LeMans, will use six laser diodes in addition to its banks of LED lights. How do you turn a laser beam into something resembling a headlight?
In the video below Audi’s Head of Lighting Innovations, at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit provides an explanation. As you can see in the video, the basic answer is that a blue laser projected onto a diode produces diffuse white light, similar to the way LEDs work and perfect for a headlight. The actual laser projector is tiny, which offers some packaging advantages compared to LEDs. What makes the laser light so appealing to carmakers is its potential to shine 1,500 feet down the road…more than a quarter of a mile! But the technology is still improving, Berlitz says. “At the moment, the laser’s not strong enough. It’s at a point where LED were about ten years ago.” Berlitz tells us that, like on the Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept, future Audis will use a combination of LED and lasers, with the lasers serving as the car’s high beams.
With the price of gas continuing to increase, many people are looking for ways of increasing their car’s fuel efficiency. The more miles per gallon you can get, the less you have to fill up and the more money you can save. While some would say the answer is to buy a hybrid vehicle, these cars are still fairly expensive, plus it makes no sense to buy a new car if the one you’re currently driving isn’t that old and is in good running condition.
You have no doubt noticed the level of technology built into the modern automobile. Who could have guessed what we have today just 50 years ago? Where will we be in another 50 years? What about just 10, or even 5 years? Check out the video below to see the automotive vision of Texas Instruments in our near future.