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BMW To Introduce Laser Headlights Within Three Years

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On: Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 4:16PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW To Introduce Laser Headlights Within Three Years

BMW recently spent some serious time detailing its ConnectedDrive technologies of the future in a comprehensive press kit. Turns out, at least one of those technologies isn't that far away. The company said that laser headlights will make a production debut within two to three years.

Hanafi Abdul, BMW's optical systems designer, explained to Inside Line that the laser headlights are actually production ready now, but are waiting for the right vehicle. That vehicle will most definitely be the i8, which was the first vehicle to feature the laser headlights in concept form, but the laser headlights may even debut before the i8 on a separate vehicle, according to Abdul. The production i8 will debut in about two years at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

BMW calls laser headlights the logical progression from current-generation LED systems, claiming that they are 1,000 times more intense and 100 times smaller. BMW also says they're about twice as energy efficient as LEDs, something that will help boost fuel economy.

While laser beams with 1,000 times the intensity of today's headlights sound like they could be overpowering and dangerous, BMW says that the light is actually soft and pleasing to the eye after the headlamps convert the blue laser light to the white light cast onto the road.

An interesting side story of the laser technology is that due to the smaller size of the hardware, BMW will be able to offer different headlamp configurations and new styling directions.

You can read more about other BMW lighting and technologies in our recent article on ConnectedDrive.


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