Audi, the German car manufacturer, claims to be on the cusp of leading vehicle design into a new era. At the firm's annual meeting, staged earlier this month, Audi unveiled a host of innovative ideas that are set to feature in some of its new vehicle designs. One concept in particular, though, has really captured the imagination of industry experts, namely the impressive exterior illumination based on OLED technology.
Stephan Berlitz, Audi's Head of Innovations Lighting / Lighting Electronics, is the mastermind behind the concept and he has suggested that such technology will become increasingly common over the next few years. Indeed, he claimed that OLED will be one of the defining features of car in the 21st century.
Unquestionably, the technology ensures that Audi vehicles will appear very futuristic and aesthetically pleasing, especially as the lights are able to change colour. Mr Berlitz explained that the OLED technology is an extension of that featured on the rear lights of the Q7 model.
In a booklet produced for the annual Audi event, Mr Berlitz explained that the technology is in place to provide a mixed colour effect. He explained, too, that this could not be achieved using standard LEDs.
"Such LEDs are individual points of light that need additional optical devices - reflectors, optical conductors or scatter optics," he commented. "OLED surfaces are themselves the source of light, and the thin plates also look attractive. They light up extremely fast, develop only a small amount of heat and don't consume any more energy than conventional light-emitting diodes."
OLEDs, he added, are perfectly suited to Audi because "they combine high-end technology, maximum precision and super design". Mr Berlitz also observed that the lifetime of OLEDS almost already reaches the requirements of the automotive industry.