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Audi's next-gen "matrix beam lighting system" under threat

Posted Feb 10th 2013 2:00PM

Audi Crosslane Coupe concept premiere - front three-quarter view

Automotive News reports Audi may have a hard road ahead of it when it comes to convincing American regulators to allow the company's new matrix beam lighting. The system uses small cameras to detect other vehicles on the road and darkens specific elements of the high-beam pattern to provide maximum nighttime visibility without blinding other drivers.

Audi has been displaying this technology on its concept cars for a couple of years now (including the Crosslane Coupe Concept shown above at its 2012 Paris Motor Show reveal). Audi hopes the technology will effectively do away with the industry's current high and low beam settings, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration doesn't allow such a system under current US laws. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 specifically says headlamps are not to shine in this dynamic of a way.

Audi has asked has asked NHTSA for more clarification to determine what, if any elements of the matrix beam lighting technology can legally be used on North American-specification vehicles. But North American buyers may have to settle for systems that automatically dim their high beams until the rules get a bit more clarification.

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