BMW M4 shows off laser headlights with CES concept

BMW's laser headlight technology, first seen in the i8, takes another step forward at CES

LED headlights are already passé, it seems, as Audi and BMW race to become leaders in the field of laser headlight technology.

First blood went to Audi with the laser-equipped R8 LMX, while deliveries of laser-lit BMW i8 models have already started.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Going one further, BMW is presenting a BMW M4 equipped with laser headlights at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas. Called the BMW M4 Concept Iconic Lights, the concept previews future functions for the technology.

At a glance, the M4 concept isn’t that different from its road-going counterpart, but a distinctive light signature at the front gives away its latest feature.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

While the glow from each headlight unit is distinctly blue in pictures, BMW promises the light emitted by the lamps is a pure, almost daylight-like white, projecting beams as far as 600 metres down the road.

READ: CES 2015 best car tech: Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Apple pictures and video

In addition, the concept previews several functions that have not yet made their way into laser lighting technology – though the technology is already present in some of the more advanced LED headlight setups.

Integration with the car’s navigation system means the Adaptive Headlight control system can illuminate turns before any steering input is made. Using infrared technology, the lights can also highlight people or animals up to 100m up the road, ‘spotlighting’ them so the driver can take appropriate action.

More intriguing still is a ‘narrow clearance’ function, providing lighting that indicates the vehicle’s width on narrower roads so the driver is better informed on where to place the car. A ‘visionary’ system can also project car information onto the road, reducing the driver’s need to stare at the instruments.

At the rear, OLED technology allows for a more intricate pattern than existing LEDs, even allowing light patterns to change depending on the car’s driving mode – BMW suggests that a familiar L-shape pattern can be displayed when the car is in normal driving modes, which can then be changed when the car is in Sport mode.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The upshot of highly adaptable laser and OLED lighting is greater design freedom with better lighting output and greater safety. Using 30 percent less energy than LED lighting, lasers also precede another step forward in vehicle efficiency.

There’s no indication as to when such headlights will find their way into BMW’s volume models, but with lasers already offered in the plug-in hybrid i8, the technology may not be too far away.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bmw/m4
BMW M4 coupe

BMW M4 review

18 Jul 2019
Visit/alpine/202166/alpine-a110-sports-x-takes-on-winter-and-wins
Alpine

Alpine A110 Sports X takes on winter, and wins

29 Jan 2020
Visit/features/20331/the-vision-gt-cars-every-vision-gran-turismo-virtual-concept-detailed
Features

The Vision GT cars

25 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/15095/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps10000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £10,000 – evo garage

The evo team picks their favourite used performance cars
1 Jul 2020
Visit/dodge/challenger/202845/2021-dodge-challenger-srt-super-stock-revealed
Dodge Challenger

2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock revealed

The ancient Dodge Challenger lives on in new 807bhp widebody form – makes a Shelby GT500 look like a pedal car
3 Jul 2020
Visit/bmw/m3-saloon/20529/2020-bmw-m3-tech-specs-revealed-choice-is-the-word-for-bmws-sports-saloon
BMW M3 saloon

2020 BMW M3 tech specs revealed – choice is the word for BMW’s sports saloon

BMW’s next M3 to be available in manual or auto; with and without all-wheel drive
1 Jul 2020
Visit/audi/audi-e-tron/202840/new-496bhp-audi-e-tron-s-revealed-audis-first-high-performance-ev
Audi e-tron

New 496bhp Audi e-tron S revealed – Audi’s first high-performance EV

The Audi e-tron S has picked up an extra electric motor for a total of three in new EV flagship
1 Jul 2020