What do you mean by laser light


The BMW i8 moves flat and crouched across the parking lot, the crunch of the pebbles beneath it is the only source of noise. You know that it can be completely different, but it is precisely its graceful way of moving that makes it so special. Even passers-by can still not look past the new type of sports car, which is no different in Marseille than in Los Angeles. The BMW i8 is admired like a guest from the future, with outstretched forefingers and smartphones drawn out as a constant companion.

Thanks to its unique technology, the plug-in hybrid athlete is also in demand by people who have never thought about a conventional sports car. While some just shake their heads with a view of the three-cylinder in the rear and often without driving impressions of their own, others finally get the car they have waited in vain for many years. Sporty, dynamic, fast, with a fascinating design. And still clean.

But we didn't come to Marseille to take another look at the unique drivetrain of the BMW i8. Instead, the focus is on the no less innovative lighting technology: the BMW i8 is the first series vehicle in the world to be delivered with laser light headlights. The dark night on the French Côte d’Azur offers exactly the right backdrop for an excursion that, thanks to laser headlights, sometimes looks like a day trip.

However, the laser light can only rarely be used permanently. Basically, even with the high-tech headlights that cost 9,500 euros, the BMW i8 is usually ‘only’ with full-LED technology. Both low beam and high beam are implemented with LEDs, the laser spot serves as a power high beam and is only activated automatically when the automatic high beam does not detect any other road users in an area of ​​600 meters in front of the car and you are at least 70 km / h fast.

What happens then, however, makes up for every second of waiting time. While the 300 meter range of the LED high beam is completely sufficient, the two laser light sources literally turn night into day in front of the i8. The road in front of the vehicle is glistening brightly lit. Similar to the daytime, the driver's gaze is focused on a distance appropriate to the speed. The visibility fades into the background, because one seldom drives so far ahead, even in daylight.

And yet: the laser light headlights in the BMW i8 can only be the first step, further evolutionary stages must follow. In densely populated Central Europe in particular, the range of the laser lights can hardly ever be used; in the vast majority of cases, the automatic light system detects other road users and gives the laser headlights a break.

The benefits of laser headlights will increase dramatically if, like modern full LED headlights, they are able to mask out other road users and therefore allow high beam to be used almost permanently. Until then, the night unfortunately often remains dark, even with laser light.