BMW’s iconic down-road graphic is already well established, but with the advent of laser lighting the company is looking to bring that look to the next level, as illustrated on the M4 Concept Iconic Lights. The concept also previews rear OLED lighting which BMW’s M division is set to launch on a production model in the near future.
The concept, which made its debut at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a stock BMW M4 by all accounts, except that it employs laser lighting in the headlamps and rear lights. It is a technology BMW pioneered, having been first to market when the laser lights made their production debut in the riveting i8.
The new interpretation of BMW’s defining twin round headlights feature fine blue strips inside the lights, identifying the laser technology set within them. The technology also allows for a flat and sharply sculpted design. At night, the four glowing corona rings form a distinctive signature, even if the hallmark kidney grille isn’t visible. This is a core identifying characteristic of all BMWs and an important element in retaining the brand’s design identity whilst simultaneously implementing new technology.
The rear light clusters are based on OLEDs (organic light-emitting diodes), which produce light from wafer-thin semiconducting layers of organic material. The ‘L’ shape is a typical design hallmark that accentuates the width of the rear and makes the brand identity more easily recognizable in the dark. And for the first time, both the taillights and rear direction indicators feature OLED technology, with illuminated surfaces positioned to produce a three-dimensional effect. It’s nothing short of awesome.
How They Work
The true benefit to drivers comes in the form of enhanced night driving visibility thanks to laser lighting’s beam range and brightness. Inside the laser headlights, the “coherent” monochromatic blue laser light is converted into harmless white light. A special optical system directs the rays from the high-performance diodes onto a phosphor plate inside the light, which converts the beam into a very bright white light that is similar to natural daylight.
BMW’s Laserlight system also has a beam range of up to 600 meters, more than twice that of conventional headlights. Despite consuming 30 percent less energy, the parallel light beam is ten times more intense than that produced by halogen, xenon or LED light sources. The concept also features a camera-based system BMW calls ‘Selective Beam’, which can tell when ongoing traffic is approaching and adapts to not dazzle drivers of other vehicles.