Video: Audi Matrix LED Headlights

Audi has developed high-beam headlights that can detect other vehicles on the road and dim part of the light beam so that they don’t blind other drivers while at the same time continue to cast their full light in the areas surrounding the other vehicles. The light beams use numerous LEDs which can then be individually controlled depending on the situation. The headlights get their instructions from a computer that processes images of the road taken by an on-board camera. In addition, the Matrix LED headlights also function as a cornering light. Using predictive route data supplied by the navigation system, the focus of the beam is shifted towards the bend even before the driver turns the steering wheel. There is also a marker light that works together with the optional night vision assistant. As soon as a pedestrian is detected in front of the vehicle, individual LEDs flash briefly three times in succession to alert that person, who is then clearly visible to the driver.

The Matrix LED technology hasn’t appeared in the U.S. yet because of laws stipulating a car’s headlights must have separate high- and low-beam settings. However, Audi’s Matrix LED technology, which controls the high-beam function of the headlight, means the high-beam setting creates both high- and low-beam light. Audi, along with other automakers developing similar technology, is currently lobbying to get this rule changed.