Move over, LEDs. Audi is preparing to show the world a new type of flat lighting technology that can be used on future cars as an alternative to traditional lights.
Audi will debut Matrix "organic light emitting diode" technology for the first time on a concept car at this year's Frankfurt motor show. In contrast to point light sources, Matrix OLED lights use thin layers of organic semiconductor materials that are less than one-thousandth of a millimeter thick, activated by a low DC voltage. The result is well-distributed lighting that doesn't cast any shadows, doesn't need any weight-adding reflectors, and produces very little heat.
Audi is currently working to bring OLEDs to production taillights, but the technology also has potential for use in turn signals and brake lights. Eventually, the thin glass sheets used to encase the organic material today will be replaced by flexible plastic, enabling a host of creative lighting opportunities such as three-dimensional forming.
The automaker wouldn't say which concept vehicle will debut with the new lights, but we do know Audi is bringing out the C-BEV. According to Autocar, Audi is planning to debut the all-electric concept crossover in Frankfurt before bringing a production version to market in 2018. The model previews the styling of the new Q6 and shares elements of its electric powertrain with the R8 e-tron. The new efficient lighting would work well with the efficiency proposition offered by an electric vehicle.
Check out the video by Audi that details the automaker's history with innovative lighting, and what's yet to come. Spoiler alert: pedestrian-detecting lights apparently are a thing.
Source: Audi, Autocar