Slideshow: Cool LED design for hot 2013 cars

-January 24, 2013

One of the longest design cycles on the planet involves automotive design, primarily because of retooling. Today, however, vehicles are being upgraded, differentiated, and enhanced in other ways—specifically lighting. While this has been a trend over the past couple of years, 2013 vehicles are particularly representative of some pretty cool lighting changes—pun intended.

This slideshow focuses on automotive lighting and is a combination of articles, products and news to show the challenges and solutions—with particular emphasis on very recent lighting design to hit the street. Let’s start with LED headlamps.

Only a few production vehicles have LED headlamps so far, including: Audi’s A8 and R8,, Lexus LS600h and RX450h, Cadillac’s Escalade, the Honda’s Accord, Toyota’s Prius and the Porsche Cayenne. Last year, the total LED headlamp market was valued at $1B, which is expected to more than double by the end of 2014.

Matrix high-beam headlights by Audi use segments of LEDs, reflectors, and lenses to create a swivel-less design. Segments each run independently based on sensor, camera, and GPS data. When combined, they form a dynamic headlight that is tuned to the world around it. Communicating with the navigation system, the headlights offer prediction-based lighting. The Matrix LED headlights will debut later this year.

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