7- LASER HEADLIGHTS (BMW to introduce laser headlights)

In September Bayerische Motoren Werke, or as we know it, BMW, announced the development of headlights that use lasers instead of the current LED* bulbs. The lasers consume about half as much energy as LEDs, and they'll be converted to make them safe and less intense than a laser pointer. They'll create a very bright, very white light that's pleasant to the eye and guaranteed not to vaporize oncoming cars.

* A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source. LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for other lighting.


BMW's i8 concept will be the first vehicle to sport laser headlights


In the past decade, LEDs have become increasingly popular for use on cars, mainly for use as turn signals, brake and park lights, and daytime running lamps, but more recently, also for use in headlights. Now BMW has revealed it is taking the next step in the development of vehicle headlight technology by working on the introduction of laser light headlights. The company says that laser light not only offers energy - and therefore fuel - savings, but could also enable entirely new design possibilities and light functions on vehicles to improve safety. It aims to have the technology ready for series production "within a few years." Although it's theoretically possible to radically reduce the size of the headlights, BMW says it has no plans to do so. Rather, the laser headlights would retain the conventional headlight surface area dimensions, with the reduced depth opening up new possibilities in the positioning of the headlights and the body styling of vehicles.

BMW says the laser lighting technology would be compatible with its current range of lighting technologies, such as Adaptive Headlights, the "Dynamic Lighting Spot" spotlighting system and the "Anti-Dazzle High-Beam Assist." Although it doesn't elaborate, BMW says the laser lighting would also enable the implementation of completely new functions, which will have minimal power consumption.

BMW's laser lighting will get its first airing in the BMW i8 concept. With a production model of that vehicle set to launch in 2013, lasers might be lighting up our roads very soon. The intensity of laser light poses no possible risks to humans, animals or wildlife when used in car lighting. Amongst other things, this is because the light is not emitted directly

For a start, laser lighting is monochromatic, which means that the light waves all have the same length, which means that its waves have a constant phase difference. As a result, laser lighting can produce a near-parallel beam with an intensity a thousand times greater than that of conventional LEDs. In vehicle headlights, these characteristics can be used to implement entirely new functions. Also, the high inherent efficiency of laser lighting means that laser headlights have less than half the energy consumption of LED headlights. Simply put, laser headlights save fuel.

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.