Consistently on the leading edge of lighting technology, Audi is planning to launch its most sophisticated variation on the theme to date later this year: Matrix LED headlamps. Adding a measure of computer control to each of the individual light emitting diodes that make up the high-beam unit, the Matrix LED system can independently activate groups of them in a way that eliminates the need for the entire lamp to swivel or be dipped when the vehicle is driven into a corner or encounters oncoming traffic.
Gathering information from forward-looking cameras, the on-board navigation system and an array of supplemental sensors, Audi's Matrix LED system works in conjunction lenses and reflectors in the lamp to optimize lighting for any situation. A sophisticated computer controller analyzes input data from each source in real time, and then sends commands to the high-beam light - which is divided into sectors that can be blocked, dipped or virtually deflected into a corner, as required. In the case of the latter action, data from the navi can cause the light rays to be "bent" even before the driver starts turning the steering wheel. The system also is capable of splitting the beam so that it can illuminate the area between oncoming vehicles.
Audi says this new Matrix LED technology opens the door to a host of innovative possibilities for lamp sizes, shapes and configurations. While not indicating which model would be the first fitted with Matrix LED headlights, the automaker did confirm that their first appearance will take place later this year.
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