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BMW to introduce world's first laser headlights in '15


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2015 BMW i8 To Feature World's First Laser Headlights

BMW's plug-in hybrid i8 sports car is set to be one of the most exciting cars of 2014, but it'll also be one of the most technologically advanced.

As well as the use of a new 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine, its part-electric drivetrain and unique styling, it'll also be the world's first production car to use laser headlights.

Headlights are so much a part of automobiles that it's easy to forget they exist. But along with safety technology and in-car infotainment, they've come a huge distance in the past decade, far more so than they have over the previous century.

Automakers are only just scratching the surface of LED technology with adaptive beam patterns and intense white light, but BMW's lasers will take that a step further.

Part of it is aesthetic, allowing more intricate designs than ever before--and lasers units can be made incredibly small, allowing greater freedom with space under the hood.

Another part is efficiency, particularly important in car using an electric drivetrain. Energy use is very low meaning less power drawn from the battery for lighting and more for propulsion.

But the largest benefits by far are those relating to light output and beam pattern, says Motor Authority.

To clarify, laser headlights don't mean you'll be blinding other vehicles as they approach. In fact, it could be quite the opposite, since using lasers allows a beam pattern more precise than ever before for better adaptive light technology.

We've seen something to this effect with the 2011 Audi A2 electric car concept from that year's Frankfurt Auto Show, which was able to project a warning triangle onto the road behind the car using laser lights.

The on-road benefits are headlights that feature a very precise beam pattern and a huge light range--at 600 meters, double that of the best current headlights. It's a more intense light too, and the light is monochromatic--laser light is produced in only one wavelength, rather than the full color spectrum of regular lights.

The result is a highly efficient, highly effective and particularly distinctive headlight design--perfectly suited to an advanced vehicle like the i8.

And the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, for that matter--Audi's Le Mans-winning diesel hybrid race car. Audi was the first to use fully LED headlights at Le Mans for retina-searing night-time vision, and in 2014 the race team will be the first to use laser headlights too.

Just like BMW's use of laser technology on its road-going i8, the benefits at Le Mans are equally important--efficiency, vision and even aesthetics have all played a part in the German marque's success at the famous endurance event.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089309_2015-bmw-i8-to-feature-worlds-first-laser-headlights

bmw-i8-laser-light.jpg

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And what about the person travelling towards the headlights? The xenon headlights are bad enough they are blinding. Will laser light damage my eyes as they are more focused light? So eventually we'll be blind to one part of the light spectrum?

I'd like to see more testing first and opinions from eye doctors.

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And what about the person travelling towards the headlights? The xenon headlights are bad enough they are blinding. Will laser light damage my eyes as they are more focused light? So eventually we'll be blind to one part of the light spectrum?

I'd like to see more testing first and opinions from eye doctors.

I'm wondering the same thing. The article said with the more focused beam you won't be blinding oncoming vehicles, but I'm thinking either you'll be losing some light for your peripheral vision or you'll be blinding other vehicles. And for roads with any sort of bend to them there are times when your beam of light goes across the front of oncoming cars. It'll be interesting to see how good these turn out to be.

I'm already in a little car driving in an Albertan town full of trucks with retina searing lights placed right at my eye level... I don't think brighter lights are a huge concern for newer vehicles.

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And what about the person travelling towards the headlights? The xenon headlights are bad enough they are blinding. Will laser light damage my eyes as they are more focused light? So eventually we'll be blind to one part of the light spectrum?

I'd like to see more testing first and opinions from eye doctors.

No kidding, headlights are bright enough as it is, too bright as far as I'm concerned.

Not to mention all the dill holes who choose to drive with their high beams on all the time. :mad:

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And what about the person travelling towards the headlights? The xenon headlights are bad enough they are blinding. Will laser light damage my eyes as they are more focused light? So eventually we'll be blind to one part of the light spectrum?

I'd like to see more testing first and opinions from eye doctors.

Agree. The headlights are already so bright and I'm always annoyed whenever I'm driving at night. We don't need this laser light, no one needs to be able to see 600 meters ahead.

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What the hell is the point of that?

Why do you need light 100 Meters away from your car?

To see better during night time?

100 meters is reasonable and in fact should be the standard for all car headlights for safety reasons. I think you meant 600 meters away.

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What the hell is the point of that?

Why do you need light 100 Meters away from your car?

100 km/h = 27.778 m/s

If you assume that a person has a reaction time of 1 second or less, you're already about 75 meters from whatever you saw by the time the brakes are applied.

A modern luxury car such as this, even with good tires and beefy brakes, will stop between 40 meters at this speed on dry asphalt. However, in wet conditions, this can be as much as double.

And, of course, if you're travelling faster than 100 km/h, the distance travelled before you react is increased linearly and the stopping distance once the brakes are applied increases exponentially.

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I'm wondering the same thing. The article said with the more focused beam you won't be blinding oncoming vehicles, but I'm thinking either you'll be losing some light for your peripheral vision or you'll be blinding other vehicles. And for roads with any sort of bend to them there are times when your beam of light goes across the front of oncoming cars. It'll be interesting to see how good these turn out to be.

I'm already in a little car driving in an Albertan town full of trucks with retina searing lights placed right at my eye level... I don't think brighter lights are a huge concern for newer vehicles.

All of this, down to the small car in Alberta, applies to myself as far as questions and thoughts I also had about them.

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