Archive for January, 2014

Audi A8 super high-tech headlights

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Highly effective: new turn signal light in the Audi A8

-Indicator LEDs light up sequentially in the turning direction
-Advanced turn signal light is a component of the Audi Matrix LED headlight

In the new Audi A8, the turn signal light consists of lighting elements that illuminate in a defined sequence; this makes it easier for others to perceive the driver’s turning intentions, even under difficult conditions.

In the new Audi A8, the turn signal lights will now indicate the turning direction in an innovative way, which has the potential to significantly enhance traffic safety. That is because the lights provide a visual signal that can be clearly and quickly perceived, even at long distances and in poor visibility.

Each of the enhanced headlights contains18 light-emitting diodes arranged in a strip that is subdivided into seven blocks. Each tail light contains 24 LEDs in eight segments, which are used to dynamically indicate the turning direction. During flashing, the blocks are sequentially activated at 20 millisecond intervals, from the inside outwards in the desired turning direction. After 150 milliseconds, all segments are bright; for another 250 milliseconds they illuminate with full intensity. Afterwards, the turn signals go dark before repeating the lighting sequence.

Considering their capabilities, the Audi Matrix LED headlights can be regarded as a cutting-edge innovation. In each headlight, 25 light-emitting diodes generate a highly variable high-beam light. When the on-board camera detects other vehicles ahead, the Audi Matrix LED headlights mask the relevant sections of the high-beam by dimming or shutting off individual diodes. Very bright illumination is preserved in the remaining zones.

The Audi Matrix LED headlights also feature navigation-based cornering lights and, in cooperation with the night vision assistant, a marker light that warns the driver of pedestrians in the dark and which also alerts the pedestrians.

Audi will be presenting the upgraded A8 in September at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

Source: Auto Blog

Intel Developing Headlights?

Friday, January 17th, 2014

When computer hardware companies start getting involved with the development of automotive technologies, you can be sure some futuristic stuff is about to go down. How does invisible rain sound to you? Intel, along with Carnegie Mellon University, has come up with an idea for a new headlight system that can make rain seem to disappear from the driver’s direct line of sight.

According to CNET, the headlight uses a camera housed within the headlight assembly to detect rain (and presumably snow or hail) as it falls, and then it uses a processor to anticipate the path of the rain. Finally, the actual light is created by a projector, which uses the information supplied by the processor to block out the pixels where the rain is expected to be. This technology, as you can see in the image above, should help improve visibility since there will be less light reflected back at the driver by raindrops.

For now, the only way you can see this rain-cancelling technology is in a demonstration in the video report posted below, but Intel thinks that it could make its way into production within the next 10 years.

Audi promises production laser headlights

Friday, January 17th, 2014

udi is showing off new laser headlight technology this week at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show on its Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept, and most intriguingly, the automaker has plans to use the long-range lighting on production vehicles. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler tells Automotive News that this type of headlights will be used on a future production vehicle, although he did not specify any timeframe.

On the concept vehicle, the headlights employ LED low beams, while the high beams use the laserlight technology. Audi says that these lights are not only very small (“a few microns in diameter”) they are also able to light the road for almost a third of a mile (1,640 feet), with three times the brightness of an LED highbeam, yet with pinpoint control. These lights have already been confirmed for use in motorsports on the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro LMP1 racecar, and the tech will eventually trickle down to road-going cars.

In addition to how long this trickle down will take, it’s doubtful we’ll see these lights in the US anytime soon. Audi is still working with the US Department of Transportation for approval of its LED Matrix Beam headlights, which are already sold in other markets, and the negotiations appear to be taking quite a bit of time. Automotive News also notes that the laser headlights earmarked as options on the 2015 BMW i8 will not be offered in the US, either.

NHTSA upgrades Corvette headlight investigation

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

It’s looking more and more likely that we’ll be seeing a recall of certain sixth-generation Corvettes, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded its initial investigation to an engineering analysis, the final stage before the Feds can request a full-on recall. The problems, which we first reported on back in May, had to do with headlights that would randomly cut out for some 2005 to 2007 Chevrolet Corvette models. NHTSA has received 95 complaints from owners of random headlight failures, while The Detroit News states that there have also been four reports from owners of 2008 Vettes.

The issue, which affects 103,374 cars, is believed to be caused by a fuse block in the engine bay. Located in a high-heat area, it can short out when exposed to increased temperatures, leading to the headlight failure. It’s not entirely clear if the issues extend to the Corvette’s Z06 and ZR1 variants.

General Motors is cooperating with NHTSA throughout the investigation, a spokesperson told The News.

News Source: The Detroit News, Auto Blog