Pioneering Communication Through Light with Audi

Nov 24, 2020 | Transportation

We’ve covered Audi’s news releases many times before, whether it was the addition of the Audi Q5 or the new Audi Q5 Sportback. We’ve covered the benefits of their new digitalized OLED lighting in those vehicles, but have yet to cover the “why” of it all. 

In a blog release published on Audi’s Progress blog, they dive deeper in to the why, the what, and the who of Audi’s lighting technology advancements. They also cover where Audi is headed and why it will play such an important role in the automotive industry.

If you’re new to the blog, you can catch up on the articles that detail the additions of digital OLED lighting to new Audi models using the related articles below.

Audi Taillight Pioneer

Image: Audi AG

Pioneer of Light

Originally published on Progress.Audi | October 10, 2020 | By: Bernd Zerelles | progress.audi 

It is a characteristic feature that makes Vorsprung durch Technik physically tangible: Light is playing an ever more important role as a means of communication at Audi.

The light signature shapes the character of an Audi.

The driving force behind the light innovations is César Muntada, head of light design at Audi. The designer, who has been at Audi since 2007, uses light to shape the character of the vehicle. “Light may not weigh anything, but it nonetheless carries considerable weight. As human beings, our perception of the world is very much dependent on how light portrays it. Light is an important innovation field for Audi; it is part of our DNA. Design and technology come together to create an emotional experience, engendering a clarity with a unique aesthetic,” says the Barcelona-born designer, explaining his maxim.

As “eyes,” highly functional headlights and taillights give the car a distinctive face even in the dark, sharpening its character. “You can tell it’s an Audi in the dark from a distance because although the light signatures we design are different, they still underscore the fact that the car is part of the Audi family. Thanks to digitalization, we can now create a light design that suits the character of the customer. Our aim is to achieve the perfect symbiosis between the entire vehicle sculpture and the progressive look of the digital eyes.”

Cesar Muntada Head Of Light Design At Audi

César Muntada, head of light design at Audi

Some see a new light. We see a new vision.

The digitalization of the lights will enable Audi to strengthen the interplay between technology and design – through light in motion, for example. The dynamic turn signal is not only attractive, but also an easily understandable form of information for all road users.

And since first impressions last – whether with people or cars – coming-home and leaving-home sequences add an emotional charge to the effect generated by the light. Locking and unlocking the vehicle triggers dynamic light shows in the headlights and taillights that reflect its distinctive character.

César explains: “We design the form and motion of digital light functions and thus create a unique aesthetic as a distinguishing Audi feature. We make the digital physically tangible.”

European Audi Model With Digital OLED Light

Image: Progress.Audi

The visions of what a vehicle’s light may be capable of doing in the future go much further: Headlights could project symbols onto the road to warn other road users of dangers – such as an ice hazard. There are no limits to the ideas generated by the Audi light designers and engineers; for the time being, it is legal regulations that determine what is possible in this regard.

“As Audi light designers, we no longer only spend our time designing lights, but also developing our own light-based language for communication purposes. We have gone from ‘thinking out of the box’ to ‘designing out of the box.’”

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