In much the same vein as Volvo’s Active High Beam Control system, Audi’s Matrix LED headlamps activate, deactivate or dim automatically at night, according to the situation. You’ll see them first on the Audi A8 facelift, which is due at the end of this year.
The technology involves numerous individual diodes working in conjunction with lenses or reflectors connected in series. Each headlamp contains 25 high-beam LEDs, arranged in groups of five per reflector.
When an oncoming vehicle is detected, relevant sections of the high beam are dipped, so as not to dazzle its driver. The closer the vehicle gets, the more LEDs are deactivated or dimmed, while areas around the vehicle continue to be illuminated by the high beam. With auto headlamps activated and high-beam on, the system operates from 30 km/h on highways and from 60 km/h on city streets.
Also made possible by Matrix LED technology are marker lights, which team up with the optional night vision assistant to mark detected pedestrians. When a person is detected within critical range in front of the car, individual LEDs flash at them rapidly thrice in succession, alerting both pedestrian and driver.
The LEDs also perform the cornering light function, relying on predictive route data from the MMI navigation plus to displace the emphasis of the beam in the direction of the bend before the driver turns the steering wheel.