Audi Showcases Lighting Technology at 2013 CES

Audi Showcases Lighting Technology at 2013 CES

Audi is showcasing a host of new technologies during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), including new lighting technology that manages to make vehicle lighting, well, interesting.

Lights might be one of the most under-appreciated aspects of a car’s design. Make them look good and most people will see a sexy car, but brace for complaints if they’re not done right. Audi already takes a radical approach to its lighting designs, but the German luxury brand is taking things much further this year, at least in concept. The most intriguing of those is probably OLEDs.

Rather than emitting light by sending an electric charge through a crystal like a normal LED light, OLEDs use an organic material – the “O” stands for organic – to illuminate a surface. Compared to light bulbs, LEDs are small and OLEDs continue that trend by offering lighting that is only millimeters thick.

One application the brand is showcasing during this year’s CES is something it calls the “swarm.” Audi’s engineers transformed the rear of a car into a large continuous light surface to let light flow across the car’s tail like a swarm of bees or school of fish. For example, the light could shift to the right when the driver activates the turn signal.

“Laser tail lights” are another feature the brand brought this year. Cars equipped with the technology would project a line on the ground behind the car to prompt following cars to maintain a safe distance.

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GALLERY: Audi light technology at CES