The Audi lighting developers and designers are already thinking years ahead. To flesh out their ideas, they conceptualize design models, exhibits and even visions in the form of animations. Show cars like the Audi prologue piloted driving concept, the star of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, provide a glimpse of the near future.
Audi Matrix OLED exhibit
OLED technology (OLED: organic light-emitting diode) is supremely well-suited for putting light in motion. Its fascinating aesthetics are focused in a trade show exhibit that resembles a work of art. The object’s title is Audi Matrix OLED, and it exemplifies the close collaboration between Design and Engineering at Audi.
116 small plates of organic light-emitting diodes, each measuring 40 x 40 mm (1.6 x 1.6 in), create a pixel surface in space. When the object is viewed directly, they light up a homogenous red. This is used to produce the Audi lettering. When viewed from the right, however, the viewer sees the four rings. If the viewer moves, the graphic and the lettering disappear, only to return when the viewing angle changes.
Design model Landscape
The design model Landscape is about three-dimensional daytime running lights. Comprising a multitude of wave-shaped, intersecting layers, its body is illuminated via Matrix LED or Matrix laser technology in such a way that the light is refracted and reflected in many areas. Fine grooves, depressions and cuts make the spotlighting even more effective.
The Audi prologue and Audi prologue piloted driving
Audi presented the dynamic Matrix laser technology for the first time in the
Audi prologue show car at the 2014 Los Angeles Motor Show. The Audi prologue piloted driving show car, which was presented at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas, is also equipped with this technology. A projection lens represents the headlight’s pupils. Beneath them in a filigree lightweight structure are five additional polymer lenses that expand the light again. The laser is located in the engine compartment, and feeds light to the lenses via separate glass fiber bundles. This principle offers advantages with respect to the packaging and design of the headlights, and also facilitates thermal management.
All lighting functions are dynamically animated. The Audi prologue piloted driving show car greets its driver with one set of daytime running lights/tail light unit, which illuminates in a rapid motion from the center of the vehicle outward. This is followed by the reference run of the Matrix laser headlights, during which the pupils appear to move to the right and then to the left. Only then do all segments shine with full power.
Design model “the swarm”
OLED technology opens up a whole new range of potential with respect to dynamics. The model “the swarm” presents some of this potential. Here the Audi engineers have converted the rear of the car into a large, continuous light surface. Countless tiny points of light flicker over it much like a swarm of bees.
Movements of the red dots take their orientation from movements of the car. When a right turn is made, they flow to the right; when the car is braked they flow more dynamically and diffusely. The faster the car is going, the faster they move. The driver in the car behind can thus always tell at a glance what the driver ahead is doing.
Design models and visions: Net, Diamonds and Ray
Audi presents a possible further development of the dynamic turn signals with the design model Net. It is a lattice of high-precision light guides, with the daytime running lights on the horizontal bars and the turn signals on the verticals. Matrix laser models generate a light that seems to run into the headlight body. An ever-changing array of effects is produced depending on the viewing angle.
The visions Ray and Diamonds are focused on lightweight construction and dynamics as Audi core values. These are symbolized by the materials carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and aluminum or two bodies in motion, respectively. Neither case is about concrete projects, but rather ideas and associations.
The vision Flow
In the vision Flow, the Audi designers contemplated how vehicle lighting might interact with the surroundings and the driver in a few decades. They see the light leaving the vehicle, flying ahead and specifically illuminating objects of interest to the driver.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.