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Focus: International news Audi demonstrates laser headlight technology


udi has developed a concept car that integrates laser technology in its headlamps. The car was presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA, in January. By combining laser diodes with its existing MatrixBeam LED technology, Audi is mirroring its competitor BMW in demonstrating the future of lighting. In the cars’ dual headlamps, trapezoidal elements are visible within the headlights – the outer one generates the low beam light using matrix beam LEDs, while the inner element produces laser light for high-beam functionality. The laser high-beam light follows on from

Audi’s introduction of adaptive matrix-beam LED lighting at the CES exhibition in 2013. In Audi A8 models, 25 different LEDs are used for the high beam which can produce approximately one billion light distributions. When light from oncoming cars is recognised by the camera within the lighting system, the car automatically dims the LED light. This allows the driver to have the full-beam lights on continuously without creating glare. Moreover, the LED lights are electronically controlled to adjust to curves in

The Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept car

the road to provide extra visibility. An advantage of using laser diodes in addition to matrix beam LEDs is that they are considerably smaller than LED diodes; they are only a few microns in diameter. The laser high-beam light has approximately twice the lighting range and three times the luminosity of LED high-beam lights, illuminating the road for a distance of nearly 500 metres.

‘Laser headlights leave all previous systems in the dark with its higher performance,’ said

Professor Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the board of Audi AG Technical Development. The concept car follows on from the BMW i8, which is the first mass production car to offer laser light technology. BMW’s optional laser high- beam light uses three laser diodes that generate blue laser beams, which are focused at small mirrors and then reflected onto a lens. Inside the lens is yellow phosphorus, which converts the blue laser beam into white light, which is then bounced off a reflector onto the road ahead.

Signing of Photonics PPP set to boost Europe’s competitiveness

The Photonics Public Private Partnership (PPP) has been established to boost Europe’s industrial leadership and economic growth in photonics. Created under the Horizon 2020 EU funding programme, the partnership will provide long-term investment commitment from both the industry and the European Commission (EC). The PPP was signed by vice president of the EC, Neelie Kroes, and the representative organ of the European photonics industry, Photonics21. It marks the successful conclusion of a joint effort between the public and the private sectors to

help get Europe on the fast track to economic recovery.

The Photonics21 association – the private partner of the Photonics PPP – will become fully operational in 2014 and is based on the Photonics21 European Technology Platform. This platform was set up to unite the majority of the leading photonics industries and relevant R&D stakeholders along the whole economic value chain throughout Europe. It has grown from 60 to more than 2,000 members since its launch in 2005 and will continue to ensure close collaboration between the EU, industry and academia,


and facilitate input to research and innovation actions within Horizon 2020.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, with nearly €80 billion of funding available from 2014 to 2022. On 11 December, the EC published the first calls for projects under this programme, with €47 million allocated for photonics-related proposals, including €28 million for biophotonics and €8million for solid state lighting.

The Photonics PPP ensures that EU funding is spent wisely, because experts from the industry within

Photonics21 can identify the most relevant research and innovation topics. Photonics21 will provide industrial and scientific expertise, acting as the advisory body to the EC for photonics research and innovation funding throughout Horizon 2020. Bernd Schulte, vice president and executive board member of Photonics21, said: ‘The Photonics PPP is an excellent instrument for stimulating Europe’s photonics sector and making the innovation process more inclusive, sustainable and effective through the direct involvement of the entire value chain.’

@electrooptics |


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