Audi has been one of the pioneers for the development of LEDs as well as laser lights in automobiles. In 2016, the German automaker introduced OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology into their vehicles starting with the taillights of the TT RS. Soon, however, they will be taking things one step further with their new digital OLED technology.
Digital OLED is said to be an evolution of their current OLED lights. Unlike the current OLED lights fitted on Audi models today, digital OLED technology allows for customizable lighting designs. According to the automaker, this is possible by “dividing the OLED light sources into a much greater number of individually energized segments.” As a result, over 50 segments can be activated as needed and their brightness continuously adjusted. For reference, the current OLED lights consist of just 4 segments.
Audi says it could be used to display signals, symbols, and even messages rather than acting as just brake lights or turn signals. The company says these symbols could then be used to warn other drivers and road users about upcoming hazards. These warnings can come in multiple forms such as angled and horizontal lines as well as a triangle-shaped warning sign.
Aside from being able to display numerous signs, Audi says the benefits of digital OLED lights is their size. The lighting element is just 1mm thick, making it the “perfect technology for executing a highly precise and versatile form of customizable lighting design”.
At the moment, Audi has not announced which of their vehicle will receive the digital OLED lights first. However, do expect it to make its debut within a year or two considering they will already be showcasing it next month at the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting.