The laser headlights featured on Audi’s latest Sport Quattro concept car on display in Las Vegas will reach production vehicles.
CEO Rupert Stadler said yesterday that the brand plans to use the technology in its 2014 R18 e-tron race car and that the lamps would also work their way into street cars. He hasn’t said when that will happen or which models will get the high-tech beams.
It might be a while before they start appearing. Stadler told Automotive News that they are still expensive to build and are sensitive to heat. On the plus side, they offer 500 meters (about 1,640 feet) of illumination. That’s roughly double the distance LEDs will shine.
BMW plans to offer optional laser high beams on its i8 plug-in sports car later this year, which would leave Audi behind in the technological dust.
One way or another, it’s unlikely that North American cars will get the high-tech lights. Audi offer its “Matrix Beam” headlights in Europe on the A8, but U.S. safety regulations won’t allow them on cars sold here. A regulation from 1968 that mandates headlights have a high and low setting. Audi’s lights adapt without a high or low setting and are consequently not allowed.
[Source: Automotive News]
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