GERMANY: Audi claims all-LED headlight first
Audi has claimed its new V10 R8 is the first car in the world with all-LED (light emitting diode) headlamps.
For the first time the high intensity diodes have been used for both low and high beams, as well as for daytime running lights and indicators.
The headlamp is the first of a new generation of headlamps using only light emitting diodes which in itself reduces CO2 emissions. An interior light package including LED footwell lighting, light and rain sensors and LED engine compartment lighting also comes as standard on the 196mph supercar.
Audi lighting expert Wolfgang Huhn said: "A lot of people initially viewed this development as a mere marketing gimmick. Yet everyone who has seen these lights in action is not only astonished by the excellent output but also thrilled with the homogenous distribution of light and the agreeable, daylight-esque colour of the light."
The automaker's V12 A8 was the claimed world first vehicle with LED daytime running lights.
Audi said current xenon and LED headlights are four times more energy-efficient than halogen headlights. By 2018, LED technology should be about eight times more efficient than halogen light. In addition, LEDs excel due to their practically indefinite service life and react up to 10 times more quickly than traditional incandescent bulbs.
LEDs can also reduce a vehicle's fuel consumption, the automaker said.
Daytime running lights become mandatory in the European Union in May 2011.
Drivers in some European countries - such as Italy, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, and Sweden - already must use their lights during the day. As a result, just one vehicle's conventional low-beam headlights, tail lights, and licence-plate illumination consume some 200 watts - which the alternator must constantly generate.
By comparison, just 15 watts is required to power the LED daytime running lights on the current A4. Audi calculates a decrease of about 0.2 litres of fuel per 100km and about 4g fewer CO2 emissions per kilometre.
Huhn added: "We're striving to create intelligent headlights and tail lights which think and anticipate in the interest of enhancing a driver's safety and comfort. For example, there are already high-beam headlights in pre-series development which will allow drivers to navigate roads at night without temporarily blinding oncoming drivers. This is made possible by a variable distribution of light: An electronic system continuously calculates the distance to any approaching vehicles to ensure that the road ahead is ideally illuminated at all times - without irritating oncoming drivers."