BMW set to introduce laser headlighting system

BMW has a new rumor, but this particular one doesn’t exactly involve a car. Rather, it involves some new headlight technology. According to BMW’s optical systems designer, Hanafi Abdul, BMW will be introducing laser lighting technology for its next generation of headlights.

The technology first made its debut on the i8. But according to Abdul, the technology is production ready and BMW just has to find the right application for it, which might debut earlier than the actual i8.

Laser lighting offers a range of advantages over the current standard, LEDs. Co-developed with Nichia in Japan, BMW said the laser lighting system is 1,000 times brighter and 100 times smaller than the traditional LED setup. As a result, there’s no need for traditional headlights.

The other benefit is that the laser system is said to be twice as efficient as an equivalent LED system and Abdul said that could significantly impact fuel consumption.

Using gallium nitride, the system initially produces blue light like a xenon-based high-intensity discharge system. The light is then filtered through a phosphor disc, turning the color of the light from blue to white. And because the technology utilizes a Class 1 laser and has been applied in medical and military fields, Abdul added that there are no safety or legislative concerns and system life is expected at about 10,000 hours.

– By: Chris Chin

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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