Just 2 months ago, 2014 Le Man 24 hours racing came to new winners and new technology, a laser headlight system equipped in Audi R18 e-tron to get huge advantage during night-hours driving.
Source: Audi website
This system is in high beam illumination instead of LED technology in other racing cars. By this technology, it can light up 500 meters ahead and 70% more in brightness. That is a huge advantage which can make more response time to the driver while they are riding the vehicle at a top speed 330 Km per hours.
Illumination distance comparison of laser and LED light source
Left : Audi R18 e-tron laser headlight
Middle : Porsche 919 Hybrid LED headlight
Right : Nissan Ligier LED headlight
According to the news, Osram should be the partner to provide blue laser diode. It is a color shift from blue to white via a yellow phosphor material, a non-direct emitting system. In nowadays technology, low beam array LED headlight can achieve intelligent lighting , so laser lighting can play a good role in high beam.
6 blue laser diode(each side is 3 laser diode) emitting to mirror, then to the lens with yellow phosphor, finally to the reflector.
A space saving is also a merit to laser headlight. Automotive designer may get more space to use in safety or sensor components for self-driving car.
BMW i8 is the first mass production car in the market. It uses high beam laser light. No matter how, the laser headlight era is beginning. With the laser projector market share increasing, the blue laser diode price and reliability will be more mature in the next coming years.
BMW i8, equipped a high beam laser light source
Another advantage is to estimated the various shapes of head lamp. The laser headlight does not need the big reflection area In conventional head lamp. New car exterior could be more close to the vehicle in scientific fiction. In current days, the developing expense is higher and higher at chassis platform,
The laser source in headlight can make car outline design more Flexible; thus, stimulates the expense from customers.