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Audi Reveals New Sequential Turn Signal

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On: Sat, Aug 24, 2013 at 9:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Reveals New Sequential Turn Signal

Sometimes the best additions to new cars have nothing to do with horsepower or speed. For instance, the new Audi A8 gets an upgrade that's minor on the surface but likely to make more of an impact on roads than an extra five horses. The Audi Matrix LED headlamp delivers a distinctive turn signal that the German automaker says will provide enhanced visibility.

In place of the ubiquitous blinker, the new A8 will use a sequential turn indicator that lights up in a sequence toward the turning direction, both in front and in back. The hockey-stick-shaped indicator along the lower border of the headlamp includes a series of light zones that light up from the inside out.

"Each of the enhanced headlights contains 18 light-emitting diodes arranged in a strip that is subdivided into seven blocks," Audi explains. "Each tail light contains 24 LEDs in eight segments, which are used to dynamically indicate the turning direction. During flashing, the blocks are sequentially activated at 20 millisecond intervals, from the inside outwards in the desired turning direction. After 150 milliseconds, all segments are bright; for another 250 milliseconds they illuminate with full intensity. Afterwards, the turn signals go dark before repeating the lighting sequence."

The purpose of the redesigned indicator is to deliver better visibility to other cars. Audi claims that the new light can be seen clearly and quickly, even at long distances and in poor visibility.

The turn indicator is only one technological element of the Matrix LED. The headlamp also includes an adaptive 25-LED high beam that automatically masks relevant LEDs when the onboard camera detects oncoming traffic, essentially automatically shutting off the high beams while preserving bright illumination in the zones that don't affect the oncoming car. The lamp also works in navigation cornering and pedestrian-warning assistance.

Audi will reveal the new A8 publicly for the first time at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.

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