It may seem like stating the obvious, but the human eye requires light to see, and driving at night is a major cause of car accidents.
Audi have seen the light, and brought driving at night out of the dark ages with technologically advanced MatrixBeam LED headlights. Audi was the first car manufacturer to blaze the trail with LED headlights by bringing them to the mass market. Now, they’ve taken another step forward by adorning the new Audi A8 with GPS, pedestrian detection, selective dimming on its lights and sequential turn indicators.
Audi has built 25, high intensity LED lights into each headlamp and incorporated them into a front facing camera and GPS system. This high tech innovation means the GPS picks up the road ahead and can bend the light around corners even before the driver turns the wheel.
This precise computerised technology allows the system to detect an oncoming vehicle, and can automatically dim individual sections of the high beam to avoid blinding the approaching driver. The closer the driver gets, more of the LEDs are dimmed. While the system blanks out light that would blind an oncoming driver, it continues to cast the high beams between and beside vehicles.
One of the greatest safety functions in the new Audi A8 is what they’ve called ‘marker lights’. The GPS system works with night vision assistance by detecting pedestrians with a thermal imaging camera. It casts a specific beam of light on the person on the road ahead and warns both the driver with an audible warning sound, and the pedestrian, by flashing the LEDs three times.
Audi has incorporated a sequence of lights under each headlight. They believe the new indicating system will make it clearer as to a driver’s turning intention, even in poor visibility and from further away. At the front, there are 18 LEDs in 7 sections. At the back, there are 24 LEDs in 8 sections. When the driver turns on the indicator, each section lights up in a sequence, then dims before repeating the sequence.
The new Audi A8 headlight system will be introduced in Australia next year, and will begin another chapter in automotive lighting and driving technology. With the ability to automatically activate, deactivate or dim individually, the new technology brings night driving safety standards to the forefront.
The Audi A8 won't come cheap but hopefully this technology will filter down into more affordable cars over the coming years.
If you want to see a bit more of the new A8 then watch the video below recorded at the unveiling of the new car.