Audi's Next A8 to Come with LED Matrix Headlamps

Recently, Audi has released details about its new Matrix LED headlamps, and announced that its next A8 will be put on sale at the end of 2013, what's more attractive, LED Matrix headlamps will be applied in Audi A8.

Audi stated that its new A8 Matrix lights consist of 25 high-beam LEDs, clustered in groups of five paired with reflectors. Unlike traditional automatic high-beam setups, the Matrix array is so precise that it "blanks out light that would shine directly onto oncoming and preceding vehicles" while continuing to use full high-beam power on other sections of the road and shoulder not occupied by other vehicles. Further, the camera- and electronic brain-governed system can dim or extinguish LEDs as necessary to deal with traffic. The active system also differs from today's adaptive headlamps by not requiring servo motors to direct light, yet they can still function as cornering headlamps – ones that can predict a road's trajectory because they are linked with the car's GPS system.

Interestingly, the system also works with Audi's optional night vision system. When the latter detects a pedestrian in the dark, it automatically flashes a batch of LEDs to put both the driver and pedestrian on notice about each others' presence.

Only one problem in all of this trick lighting business: they aren't legal here in the US, at least not yet. Audi and other automakers are currently petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, trying to sell the government agency on the technology's safety benefits. For the moment, Matrix headlamps are likely to remain forbidden fruit, but you can check them out and see what you might be missing in the video below. As for the 2015 A8, we're guessing it'll surface at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

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