Audi standing up for its lights with sequential-turn signals
Sometimes, as the maxim goes, the pioneer only takes the arrows. But for Audi of America and the progressive lighting innovations in its vehicles, that simply means plucking out the projectiles and moving back into the fray.
Audi is “standing up for its lights” again, noted Automotive News in a new story about the brand’s efforts to gain U.S. regulatory approval for its sequential turn signals — the latest in the company’s growing resume of high-tech, stylish improvements in the once-mundane arena of exterior lighting.
The system for which Audi is seeking approval by U.S. authorities uses dozens of small LED lights ticking on, one after another, to indicate the direction of a turn. For the moment, at least, regulators say that each light is too small even though their combined area is large enough for a proper turn signal. Company executives are meeting with federal safety officials to seek special dispensation, the publication said.
Such resistance is familiar to Audi because it also has been trying to get the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to interpret its rules to allow Audi’s Matrix Beam headlights in the United States. As Automotive News noted, those lights project a high beam but dim automatically upon sensing oncoming traffic.
Overall, the efforts to gain regulatory approval are just an expected part of Audi’s industry-leading innovation in this area. Audi product developers have ensured that their new designs are even safer than traditional lighting styles, but as with most technologies that impinge on safety, government regulators are cautious.
But Audi of America President and CEO Scott Keogh told the magazine that the slings and arrows are worth it – and so is coping with luxury-segment competitors that are rapidly attempting to imitate Audi’s distinctive lead in headlight design and technology.
“When someone looks at those lights on a competitive vehicle, they go, ‘They have the Audi lights,’” he said in an interview. “Perfect. They’ve’ basically put our brand on their car. We like it. It forces us to be sharper, forces us to be better.”