At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show due to take pace on 18-27 November, Audi of America will debut its 2017 Audi R8 exclusive edition featuring laser headlights. The R8 exclusive edition features a laser high beam module in each headlight, which will supplement the full LED systems currently used by Audi.
Audi first demonstrated laser-supplemented headlight technology in a concept car that was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA in 2014. However, up until now, the US' National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's motor vehicle safety standards have made it difficult for car manufacturers to introduce advanced headlights such as these to the US market.
Each laser module in the Audi R8 operates with four high intensity laser diodes, which are bundled into a blue laser beam with a 450nm wavelength. The blue laser beam then – via a phosphor converter – transforms into a very bright and pure white light. The R8 exclusive edition is the first Audi vehicle to couple the laser light with dynamic front turn indication signals.
The laser modules, identifiable by the blue light signature they produce, will activate at speeds of 40 mph and above in permitting conditions. The modules will supplement the full LED high beams and enhance the driver's visibility by projecting a low and wide beam of light onto the road ahead.
The laser high-beam light has approximately twice the lighting range and three times the luminosity of standard LED high beam lights, illuminating the road for a distance of nearly 500m.
The first mass-production car to incorporate laser headlight technology was the BMW i8 two years ago. The laser light of the i8 provided twice the visibility range of a conventional light, and five times higher brightness than its laser-less predecessor, both while using less energy.