Move over xenon, laser headlight technology is making it’s way

When you hear the word ‘laser’, what comes to mind? If you’re at all like the rest of us, you immediately associate that word with aliens, the future of weaponry, or a particular childhood film. Well, laser technology may be coming a lot sooner than you may think, in fact, it is already being utilized in BMW’s latest spaceship-like car, the i8. Audi has plans of running similar technology in their limited edition R8 variant, the LMX.

Cars are always changing, and as models become newer and newer, technology is always a huge focal point. We love hearing how developers step their game up in making sure comfort, convenience, and bragging rights are all worked into the consumer’s decision process when shopping around for their next vehicle, but when it seems like today’s cars already do it all (read emails, draft texts, check Facebook etc.), headlights suddenly became means of grabbing attention. Debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011, BMW announced it’s bold and innovative technology coming from their EfficientDynamics team. According to them, the car’s high beams will extend its reach to 600 meters (0.37 miles for us Americans) all while being 30% more efficient. How does the new power of lasers compare to LEDs which are in many of our cars right now? Roughly 1,000 times more, clearly taking the crown for king of illumination.

Now, looking into lasers has traditionally been a no-no, but BMW addresses that concern by ensuring that looking into the i8’s headlights will certainly cause no harm. The lasers don’t directly shoot the light from the headlight housing; to put it simply it is aimed inward and reflected outward towards the road. On top of all that, oncoming traffic is graced with BMW’s Intelligent Headlight Technology, which recognizes your car coming towards the laser-equipped i8 and shines the light everywhere your car isn’t, so worry no more!

YouTuber Paul Tan gives an excellent demonstration of the laser headlights in his video blow, under that is BMW’s explanation of their Intelligent Headlight Technology that will save our corneas from welcoming in blinding white light: