Last month, BMW announced it was developing laser-based headlights and the Internet lit up with Star Wars jokes and concerns about potential hazards. To clear things up, BMW invited us out to Munich to see how they work.
BMW's laser headlight system, which debuted on the i8 Concept at the Frankfurt show last month, uses not one, but three blue lasers per headlight for a total of twelve on your standard four headlight BMW. To understand how they work, refer to the diagram at right. The three lasers A are mounted in a triangular pattern and shine onto small mirrors B which redirect the beams into a lens C. Within the lens is yellow phosphorus, which when excited by the blue lasers, emits intense white light.
That light is directed by the lens to the reflector Dwhich bounces the white light back degrees and out onto the road ahead. The headlight casing contains any extra reflections and helps direct all the white light out the front.
GUIDE: The Different BMW Headlights Technologies Explained
Freakin' laser headlights. In the upper right corner of the diagram you can see one of the lasers, though it's being interrupted by a card in this picture. It should be noted that this demonstration rig is just one possible configuration of the system, which can be scaled to just about any size needed.
You can see the full system in action in the photo to the left. BMW says its laser system is times brighter than LED headlights but uses half the power, reducing the electrical draw on the engine. Further, the company says that its lasers will last 10, hours, just like LED systems. What's more, the scalability of the system allows BMW's designers much more freedom in sculpting headlights on future models. Of course, the first thing we all learned about lasers is not to point them at yours or anyone else's eyes for fear of retina damage.
With headlights, that simply isn't possible, but BMW says there's no need to worry. Laser light is dangerous to your eyes because it's extremely concentrated and focused. The white light produced by the excited phosphorus is not and to demonstrate its safety, the engineer in charge of the project stared straight into the headlights and invited assembled journalists to do the same.
Though the lights are extremely light, neither your author nor anyone else present suffered any ocular damage. There's also no risk of the headlights doing any damage to objects in front of them or causing any fires despite the fact that the engineer lit an incense stick from one of the laser beams to demonstrate its power for the same reason.
The actual light produced by the headlights is not laser light despite the use of lasers to create it. And if you're worried about escaped laser beams flying around after an accident, BMW has that covered as well. Like Xenon headlights, power is immediately cut to the laser headlights in the event of any damage. BMW also used the opportunity to show off its new Dynamic LightSpot system, which in essence is a spotlight on the front of the car that illuminates pedestrians in your path.Right angle
On the engineering model we were shown, the two spotlights were mounted in place of fog lights and are motorized like adaptive headlights.Adaptive headlights—which turn as you steer to better illuminate bends in the road—are the next big thing in proactive safety measures. In fact, the first batch of cars recently went through that process, and the results were, uh, illuminating. It's a sporty little hatchback that seriously lowers the pricing bar for cars with adaptive headlights.
That upgrade also can be paired with white turn signals as a no-cost add-on. The former Zoom-zoom brand has been building a strong reputation for affordable safety in recent years, thanks to entries like the compact Mazda Mazda3.
Mazda's midsize sedan was tested by the IIHS for lighting performance, becoming one of the few mainstream cars with adaptive lighting to earn an "Acceptable" grade for its technology.
However, customers have two ways of enjoying this extra illumination feature with the Mazda6. It's available first with the automatically transmissioned Touring models, though as part of a double-package deal that combines safety measures such as Smart City Brake Support and rain-sensing windshield wipers with lux touches like heated front seats, an speaker Bose audio system and a power moonroof.
Too new to be tested by the IIHS is the Hyundai Elantrabut this all-new compact sedan also lowers the price of admission to cars with adaptive headlights. The redesigned, re-engineered Infiniti Q50 is packed with performance-oriented features, with a particular highlight being a new twin-turbo V6 that kicks out horsepower in Q50 Red Sport editions. Of course, when you've got that kind of power under the hood, you'll want an especially clear view of the road ahead, which is exactly what you get with the car's available adaptive front-lighting system with auto-leveling.
Why are Adaptive Headlights Illegal in the USA?
Autobytel experts are going to sneak the Subaru Outback onto our honor roll of cars with adaptive headlights, despite not having them. That's because what it does have is a low-cost alternative—steering-responsive fog lights—which helped the Outback garner an "Acceptable" headlight certification from the IIHS. Here's how they work: the Outback's available fog lights are specifically aimed to enhance visibility when the vehicle is turning, but if those lights are turned off, sensors will read the Outback's steering wheel and automatically turn on the unit pointed in the direction of the curve, for improved visibility.BMW Adaptive headlamps and High Beam Assist demo (selective highbeam assist)
Some folks may be surprised that the Volkswagen CC still exists, let alone that it's on our list of cars with adaptive headlights. Yet not only does VW serve up a standard adaptive front-lighting system for the CC 2. As a quick refresher, the VW CC is based on the previous-generation Passat midsize sedan, but wears a more dramatic, "four-door-coupe" exterior design on the outside and showcases plenty of Passat-plus luxuries on the inside.
Naturally, the Volvo S60 had no such issues with the IIHS crashworthiness tests, nor with the evaluation for front crash-avoidance technology, and the premium sedan finishes up with an "Acceptable" grade for its available adaptive headlights. Indeed, Volvo boasts that, with its dual xenon headlights with active bending lights, "you get a 90 percent boost to your vision around bends at night. We'll wrap the way we started, with a vehicle that may not have had its headlights tested yet by the IIHS, but one that is the well-known answer to many a motoring question.Delphi ds100e software download
So if you're asking about cool cars with adaptive lighting, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is a correct choice here, too. Certain specifications, prices and equipment data have been provided under license from Chrome Data Solutions "Chrome Data". All Rights Reserved.Tandem app
This information is supplied for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of Chrome Data. Chrome Data makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability or fitness for particular purpose, with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.
By Charles Krome. Build and Price a New Car.BMW continues to develop innovative automotive technology. The BMW Laserlight system — which is available in some European BMW i8 models — improves high-beam output by two, meaning you can see twice as far down the road.
BMW Laserlight high-beams are also designed to prevent blinding oncoming traffic and the system is GPS-enabled, helping to better light turns in the road. Instead, laser-created light is fired through a series of mirrors located within the headlamp assembly, which reflects and focuses the light into a lens.
The lens is filled with yellow phosphorus, a substance that reacts to intense light. Once the laser light is reflected into the lens, it interacts with the yellow phosphorous, which in turn creates a bright, highly intense white light.
Finally, this light is diffused to reduce its intensity and then reflected out of the front of the headlamp. The real benefit: The light is 10 times brighter than LED-created light. BMW says that compared to traditional systems Laserlight is about 30 percent more efficient, and since the lights can create bright light in smaller housing, Laserlight enables designers to reduce the size of the housing and optimize design for aerodynamics.
Laserlight headlamps, BMW says, are much brighter than traditional systems. They include:. Until recently, the laser-based technology was banned in the U. BMW says that an updated version of the lights will be available in the U. This feature will be rolled out in the coming years in BMW i8 models, and may eventually work its way into the entire line-up. Traditional systems are only capable of half that. Simply put, BMW Laserlight is a must-have for rural drivers.
Spotlighting Animals and People: Another feature: The Laserlight system has the ability to spotlight animals and pedestrians up to feet away. Laserlight is equipped with an infrared camera that illuminates these obstacles. Laserlight can then help drivers to better see curves in the road. Instead, Laserlight uses a camera Selective Beam system that detects oncoming vehicles or those that are overtaking the BMW, and then, the beam is automatically dimmed to prevent blinding these vehicles.
Connect with us. BMW of Freeport. Community Outreach Careers Customer Testimonials.There are various headlight technologies that BMW employs in its vehicles.Ekzos motor murah
At the moment, the BMW headlights technology stands on three basic pillars:. It basically relies on an incandescent bulb filled with halogen gas that increases the light intensity and output of the projector.
Currently, halogen lights can only be found in the standard equipment for the basic versions for the following BMW models:. For the entry-level models, the main halogen headlight is complemented by additional LED-based daytime running lights DRL. Mainly, the standard LED headlights have no adaptive function, so the lighting will not be adapted by on your speed, the road configuration and incoming traffic.
The standard LED lights for the basic trim models are additionally complemented by certain adaptive functions, which include the cornering light and the BMW Selective Beam, that aim to optimally improve road illumination in dark conditions. Other models that also get the standard LED lights are the higher-positioned trim versions for ranging from the new 1 Series F40 up to the current 4 Series F3xas well as the lower X lineup X1 to X4.
Moving higher across the model portfolio, we are basically left with only the state-of-the-art light technologies, such as the fully adaptive LED headlights and the sensational BMW Laser headlamps.
The BMW adaptive LED headlights rely solely on diodes for both beam phases short and high to illuminate the road and can actively adjust themselves depending on road conditions, incoming traffic BMW Selective Beam and vehicle speed.
The luxury models from the 7 Series — 8 Series — X7 triplet receive identical light graphics irrespective they are fitted with the standard Adaptive LED headlamps or specced with the optional BMW Laser lights.
The only visual sign between the two technologies is represented by the blue color applied the design of the projector, which is unique to the Laser lights. With the help of it, the road illumination is more dense and sharp, dramatically improving visibility at night, reducing the high-glare effect for incoming traffic and ensuring an overall light spread up to meters. For the first time in history, the Laser headlights are now offered as an optional equipment for the new G2x 3 Series models.
A variation has been premiered on the 3 Series, X5 and X6, which involves minimalistic graphics with flattened DRL projectors. As previously said, the Lasers are individualized with the help of blue accents on the light diodes, retaining the tridimensional DRL filaments.
Are HID and LED Headlights Worth Buying?
As well, the LED fog lights are visibly placed onto the front bumper in either circular or thin strip shapewith the exception of the 7 Series LCI and 8 Series which do not feature this equipment. It might look a bit fuzzy at first sight, but the BMW headlight technology and its use across the model portfolio are quite straight-forward and simple. The M1 is not …. Around this time last year, BMW Motorrad took the wraps off of something quite unique.
Should Your New Car Have Adaptive Headlights?
That is both aesthetically as well as technically. A nod ….For example: in Florida, flatulence after 6 p. And, in Kansas, if you want to walk across a street at night, you better be sure your tail has some tail lights on it.
A regulation is prohibiting new headlights that no longer require an intermediary means for switching from high to low beams. First introduced by Mercedes Benz inthe adaptive headlights sense when other sports cars are on the road and automatically adjust their brightness.
All are unable to make them available on cars sold in the US because of the outdated policy. In May, Toyota announced that it had submitted a petition to the NHTSA requesting that the adaptive headlights be allowed, citing studies from the Highway Loss Data Institute HLDI that found cars using the adaptive headlights sustain less damage in accidents on average, though the number of accidents occurring is no different.
Only 2, MilesStill Under Warranty Mercedes-Benz has a long history of racing and motorsports, but it was not their focus Big automakers can ride out ripples in production, but the smaller ones are being hit hard. Last year was the Living up to an iconic name can be hard.
For me the full LED is a no brainer. Originally Posted by remmib. Originally Posted by babaikram. Please what is the source of the information? Lieutenant General. Yes, just look at the standard headlight, sure looks like old fashioned incandescent light bulb to me.
Wow decision time. I intend to keep the new G30 for some time. Does the adaptive light give problems when out of warranty? Originally Posted by kadify. You're buying a first year model run and intend to keep it for some time? Good luck. I have now added full adaptive LED headlight to my specification. All times are GMT The time now is PM. Mark Forums Read. Thread Tools. Adaptive LED Headlight worth the extra?
Appreciate 0 Tweet. Find More Posts by babaikram. Find More Posts by remmib.We respect your privacy. All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story.
These high-tech headlights have become a signature look of aftermarket upgrades, and they distinguish the styling on many new vehicles, in particular cars with LED headlights, which can be grouped in signature looks. In its ongoing headlight tests, Consumer Reports has seen an increase in cars equipped with these technologies.
The answer: Not necessarily. While there are poor and very good performers in each variety, none produces greater forward-seeing distances than the others. Based on our testing, the differences depend on the car, not the headlight technology.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety agrees. Testing takes place on dark, moonless nights at our track, where experienced staff assess how well they can see a series of flat, black signs arranged in specific locations on our track with both low and high beams.
Low-beam visibility counts the most in our ratings, since people drive with low beams on most often. Aspects such as headlight brightness and a uniform pattern of light that make the headlight more pleasing also factor in to our ratings, but to a lesser extent.
While HIDs and LEDs are typically brighter and often illuminate better to the sides of the road, the straight-ahead visibility differences vary in our tests. For example, the Buick Envision equipped with halogen lights earned a Good overall score for its headlight performance, driven mainly by the low-beam seeing distance. Our ratings of two Limited trim Jeep Grand Cherokees —one diesel, one gas—showed nearly identical overall headlight performance, even though one was equipped with high-intensity discharge xenon lights and the other with halogens.Swift geometry
Our ratings for headlight performance on recent vehicle models also illustrate how performance cannot be predicted by the technology alone.
Your best bet is to check our new-car ratings —and to be wary of paying extra for a headlight upgrade. The key takeaway is not to assume one technology is superior to another. This is especially important when considering a model whose headlights are part of a pricey package.
Before being drawn to the bright, white light that HID, LED, and xenon lamps produce, check our ratings, available on the models pages for all tested vehicles. Properly functioning headlights are a vital part of car safety. I never anticipated that engineering, the auto industry, and a few hundred tire changes and child seat installations would have brought me here: director of day-to-day operations at Consumer Report's fabulous acre Auto Test Center. The bonus is that the track's location in rural Connecticut leaves me close enough to home to also enjoy my children and husband while still squeezing in time for gardening, riding horses, and hunting for antiques.
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