Audi said a new concept vehicle slated for the Frankfurt show will be fitted with advanced Matrix OLED - Organic Light Emitting Diode taillights that promise to open up new possibilities in design and functionality. The automaker has been a pioneer in various forms of both Matrix and OLED lighting technology, but this will be the first integration of the two in a production-intent application. 

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Audi notes the fundamental OLED design that matches thin, flat elements offers a far more homogenous light quality than the point-sourced conventional LEDs made from semiconductor crystals. Unlike current LED lamps, OLEDs require no reflectors, light guides or other optical add-ons and offer continuously variable dimming. The net result is a component that's lighter, less complex and more efficient as well as better suited to being adapted to future automotive applications that Audi says "will open up entirely new creative spaces for designers." Part of that freedom comes from the fact that OLEDs can be subdivided into smaller sub-groupings with individually controllable brightness and color levels.

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Although the current level of production technology confines these Matrix OLEDs to taillamps, Audi says the door is open to future adaptations for brake lights and directional signals, as well. When the glass substrate materials now used to encase the various organic materials ultimately are replaced by flexible plastics, it also will be possible to craft the lamps into a variety of dramatic 3D configurations. 

While there's no word yet on just what type of concept will showcase Audi's Matrix OLED taillamps, speculation points to a design study for a mid-size e-tron crossover.

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