It’s not just a party trick; it will aid in improving safety as well

It’s astonishing to see how something as simple as a headlight or a taillight can be experimented with as ‘intelligent illumination.’ This is exactly what Volkswagen has been working on. The automaker’s ambitious plan is to have headlights and taillights that provide more intelligent illumination and communicate with other cars on the road.

This is Lit

Volkswagen Leads The Way With New LED Lighting Technology
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We all know Audi’s work with the laser lights and matrix LEDs. It was only a matter of time before the parent company also jumped into this. Recently, Volkswagen opened an entire section at its Wolfsburg plant dedicated to lighting research and development, which it called the "center of lighting excellence.” The infrastructure includes a 328-foot long tunnel where engineers can test out new lights.

Volkswagen says that it envisions micro-pixel headlights with up to 30,000 light points, which would be capable of projecting holograms onto the road and the surrounding.

The German automaker has been fiddling with this idea for quite some time now. While showcasing the I.D. concepts, Volkswagen pictured lights that looked like the human eye. When the driver is ready to go, the eyes open, and they can even be programmed to "wink" at the driver. When turning left or right, the headlights look in the direction that the vehicle is going to turn. At the crosswalks, the headlights will look in the direction of pedestrians and cyclists to let them know the car is aware of their presence. Once parked, the car displays only a thin LED strip to signal the "eyes" are shut.

What Does That Mean?

Volkswagen Leads The Way With New LED Lighting Technology
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The idea is for these headlights to be able to project lines that be in line with a car’s width to give drivers a better idea of how their vehicle fits within the lane markings. The experienced folks may take offense to this, but it is especially helpful when towing a trailer. This lighting system could also help drivers guide through treacherous passes and unexplored terrains, as the virtual lane markers bend to follow the curves in the road.

For the taillights, the matrix LEDs could display messages or give warnings to other drivers on the road.

As the future will be filled with EVs, the taillights could show the vehicle’s charge level or a personalized signature chosen by the driver via his or her smartphone. Volkswagen also thinks that while parking, vehicles will be able to project their path onto the road, warning other drivers of the maneuver.

Volkswagen Leads The Way With New LED Lighting Technology
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Not just this; the I.D. Vizzion Concept could even project the stripes of a crosswalk to signal that it’s safe to cross. This will be immensely helpful for the pedestrians, as it will be a way of communicating with a car that has no driver. If not for this, there is no other way to know an autonomous car’s intentions.

Our Take

Volkswagen Leads The Way With New LED Lighting Technology
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Technology never lives in the present; it’s always in the past. With companies innovating and coming up with something new every day, existing technologies are becoming obsolete. There is no end to this. Do you have any such crazy ideas? You never know, it might become a reality. So, shoot your ideas in the comments section below.

Further reading

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