On request, the Q8 e-tron comes optionally with Digital Matrix LED headlights – a global innovation in mass production that Audi unveiled in the fall of 2019 with the e-tron Sportback. Dispersed into 1.3 million pixels per headlight, the light can be controlled with high precision, which enables a number of new functions. On narrow lanes, the orientation light marks the car’s position in the lane, for example. They also include three new functions: advanced traffic information, a lane light with direction indicator lights for highway use, and an orientation light on country roads.

Digital Matrix LED headlights are based on digital micromirror device (DMD) technology, which is also used in video projectors for example. At its core is a small chip with around 1.3 million micromirrors with edges only a few hundredths of a millimeter long. Using electrostatic fields, each and every one of them can be angled up to 5,000 times a second. Depending on the setting, the LED light is either directed onto the road via the lenses or absorbed for the purpose of masking. This allows the light to be controlled intelligently, creating a continuously regenerating video image rather than a static beam.

Lane light and orientation light on highways

The lane light, in partnership with the orientation light is extremely helpful for night driving on the highway, illuminating the car’s own lane, helping the driver focus on driving events. The integrated position marking from the orientation light – darkened arrows – predictively indicates the position of the Audi Q8 e-tron between the lane markers, encouraging safe driving in the center of the lane.

With its focus on the car’s own lane markers, the lane light with the orientation light on the highway helps the driver accurately assess their position in the lane, for example in narrow lanes around construction sites.

While changing lanes, the lane light dynamically and brightly illuminates both lane markers, while the orientation light indicates the car’s exact position in the lane to give the driver the most support possible. This is where the innovative direction indicator lights come in; with the turn signals activated; the Digital Matrix LED headlights create a dynamic blinking area on the appropriate side of the lane light. This way, the lane light reiterates and intensifies the signal from the direction indicator lights on the road in front of the vehicle providing additional clear information about the upcoming lane change to the traffic along the side. Another way that Audi is making driving safer for everyone on the road, particularly in heavy traffic.

Orientation light on country roads

Now that the headlight has been digitalized, the orientation light is also available independently of the lane light on country roads, making changing lanes easier and helping the driver to more accurately assess their position, especially on narrow country roads.

Audi Q8 e-tron

Warnings on the road

A further innovation: while visual and acoustic warnings about possible accidents or breakdowns are already provided by HERE maps, the Digital Matrix LED headlights including DMD module offer another level of security. Apart from a display in the digital instrument panel, the headlights now project a warning indicator on the road in front of the car for about three seconds. From the driver’s seat, a triangle with an exclamation point can be seen projected onto the road allowing the driver to keep their eyes ahead and react as quickly as possible in the event of an accident or breakdown in upcoming traffic.

All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon. The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.