Audi is working on a lighting project to introduce OLEDs into their cars which they say will take several years to implement.
Stephan Berlitz who heads the Lighting and Electronics technology division at Audi in Germany has created a masterpiece using OLED technology in the R8 and Q7 vehicles.
The company recently demonstrated their Audi Q7 which had OLEDs to the rear, and inside. The indicator light is made from eight flat segments.
Berlitz explains, "These are individual points of light that need additional optical devices - reflectors, optical conductors or scatter optics. OLED surfaces are themselves the source of light, and the thin plates also look attractive. They weigh little, light up extremely fast, develop only a small amount of heat, last for several tens of thousand hours and don't consume any more energy than conventional light-emitting diodes. OLEDs suit Audi perfectly because they combine high-end technology, maximum precision and super design!"
The company expects to be using OLED rear lights relatively soon whilst they see brake lights a few more years away. But Berlitz visualizes white OLEDs being used for daytime running lights and side lights.
The biggest target of all - especially for Audi's designers - are three-dimensional OLEDs. The first prototypes are now appearing as part of a project with public support, installed on various levels in the rear light units of an Audi TT.
The future Audi R8 OLED concept has strips consisting of hundreds of triangular OLEDs on its sides, back and inside the car. "My design department colleagues have transformed the entire car into a source of light!" says Berlitz. This will permit the car to be identified in a whole series of ways that can be constantly varied."
The 'swarm' - is another scenario for the future. The rear end of the car is transformed into a large illuminated surface, with innumerable small points of light flickering like a swarm of fish and following the car's movements. When the driver turns right, the swarm moves in the same direction, when he or she applies the brakes, the 'fish' rush forward, and the faster the car is driven, the more hectic the swarm's movements. In this way the OLEDs tell the driver behind actively just what the car is doing.
The 'swarm' uses OLEDs in a technical display, with a matrix made up of a large number of pixel-size units that can be energized separately. The OLED swarm too combines the attractive with the practical, or as Berlitz puts it: "It looks sensational but it's also a definite safety feature."
For more attend Printed Electronics USA, December 5-6, 2012