Audi future lab: lighting tech and design

Audi – already the leader in beautiful headlights – is extending its lead in the field of automotive lighting technology with a new “lighting competence centre” at the company’s headquarters in Ingolstadt. Vehicles can be driven into its new underground light tunnel, which is 120 m long, and focused on the development of innovative lighting solutions and camera-based lighting assistance systems.

“Audi is the leading brand for automotive lighting technology,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. “From the xenon plus headlight to the matrix‑LED headlight to the laser light, we have been putting pioneering innovations into series production for the past 20 years. Light is part of an automobile’s esthetics and is becoming an interactive medium of information.”

The new lighting competence centre is the biggest lighting tunnel for vehicles in Europe. Inside the matte‑black‑painted tunnel, the development engineers test systems such as adaptive high beam and camera‑based lighting assistance systems. These systems avoid dazzling drivers of oncoming traffic and enhance safety.

It and the laser lab under an 11‑floor building presented a great challenge for the civil engineers, because it had to do without supporting columns and required an interior height of 9 m. The floor surface is similar to a normal road. The Audi engineers there cooperate closely with the designers so that new ideas can be put onto the road even faster.