What are the "smart headlights" of the future with Audi Digital Matrix capable of?
16.05.2022
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What are the "smart headlights" of the future with Audi Digital Matrix capable of?

We used to think that headlights are the most "simple" element of any car, since their purpose is very unambiguous - to illuminate the road. From the point of view of an ordinary user, it seems that all the characteristics of headlights should come down to one main thing - the range and quality of illumination of the road. But the developers at AUDI decided to push the boundaries of headlights and endow them with new, very unusual properties. Imagine that now the headlights are not only a source of light, but also a powerful sensor that is able to "monitor" the situation on the road and literally interact with the surrounding space. The new headlights based on Audi Digital Matrix seem to "feel" everything that their beams collide with, receive information about what is happening around the car, analyze the data and react, warning the driver before he can see the obstacle. And although all this is strongly reminiscent of science fiction, engineers from Audi have already implemented this project. The new headlights can project traffic symbols, warning signs and even video games onto the road or any vertical surface! The first vehicles to receive smart headlights will be the Audi e-tron Sportback and the Audi A8. Headlights of the future use Digital Micromirror Device technology. Each headlight consists of 2 separate bulbs, which in turn contain approximately 1.3 million micromirrors each. The electrostatic field can change the orientation of these micromirrors up to 5000 times per SEC. The headlight also has light-catching elements that help create zones of contrast. Together with the Night Vision function, when a pedestrian is detected, the headlight "deliberately" highlights it, minimizing the risk of collision. In addition, the control of high beam headlights has been improved, which are now able to more actively illuminate the inside of the turn when making a maneuver. Even "smart headlights" are able to show light signals when opening doors and exiting the car. But this is far from a complete set of their capabilities. So, the digital matrix from Audi has other functions. When driving on a busy road, the "lane light" and "beam lights" functions are activated. It forms a kind of "carpet" of light on the road, which shifts depending on the direction of the car. Also, a special "guide lamp" shows the car's position in the lane so that the driver stays in the middle of his lane. In the event of a lane change, the headlights begin to illuminate both lanes while the "orientation light" evaluates the vehicle's positioning. This mechanism should help the driver to concentrate his attention on the road and improve traffic safety. The headlights are also equipped with a direction indication function. When it is triggered, a flashing light appears along the strip of normal light illuminating the lane, indicating a change in direction. In this way, other drivers will also see what maneuver you are about to make. The fact that the novelty is able to interact with the Car-to-X communication system allows the headlights to respond to information received from HERE navigation and mapping services. In this way, the car will be able to notify you in advance when approaching the scene of an accident or other dangerous area and display a three-second warning light on the road. The driver will see a triangle sign with an exclamation mark on the road. All these measures are designed to increase the safety of driving on the roads and to protect all road users as much as possible. We thank Audi engineers for their unique development.

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