As I covered previously, Audi has been creating some fabulous new headlight designs. This round, they are exploiting one of the more exciting aspects of LED technology: The ability to use redundant LEDs within a single fixture to create something I call “solid state beam shaping“. In their latest design, called “Matrix Beam“, Audi is now using multiple channels of control per headlight, a segmented optic design, and a camera vision system to actively reduce glare projected at objects (people, cars) in the field of view. Essentially, the headlights are always on “high beam”, but are smart enough to reduce the candelas projected at oncoming traffic.
Via an article in BusinessWeek, there’s been some fuss that Audi and other car manufacturers are lobbying the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding a 1968 rule that dictates the inclusion of high/low beams for headlights — at the exclusion of newer, more segmented designs such as Audi’s Matrix Beam.