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BMW 7 Series owners who are also night owls will probably appreciate this little gimmick that comes standard on all variants of the new 7-er in Malaysia.

It’s called the BMW Welcome Light Carpet, essentially a a striped pattern of light that’s projected on the floor, guiding the motorists to the front doors of the car.

The light projection extends to the ground outside the rear doors as well so although it’s not quite as “welcoming” for back seat passengers, it still does its job as a puddle light for the rear doors so you know what’s on the ground outside your car in areas that are not well-lit.

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The light doesn’t come from below the wing mirrors as you would imagine – doing so would cause the projection to be blocked by a person walking up to the car. Instead, the projector is mounted under the car on the body sill below the front door as you can see from the photo above.

This feature was developed together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF. It uses 150 different microoptic projectors in a honeycomb array to create the pattern we see. The projectors are protected by a glass cover and angled to the rear of the car to reduce the chance of damage from stones.

I suppose this requirement limits the kind of patterns that BMW can create, which is why the light carpet is shaped the way it is. As for dirt, the projectors will still operate with reduced brightness.