The Audi Q6 E-Tron will launch with new lively lighting know-how that makes this EV smarter and safer, however the characteristic received’t be coming to the US. And earlier than you boo Audi, right here’s a actuality examine: Federal crimson tape continues to be guilty.
Audi has lengthy geared up its automobiles with adaptive matrix LED headlights that may dim or brighten as they detect oncoming gentle. In different phrases, an Audi can drive with its headlights at full brightness, giving the motive force most visibility at evening, however the person LED sections can routinely dim to not blind oncoming visitors. This is a fast refresher on how this works.
Audi has been putting in its matrix LED know-how on some automobiles offered within the US for almost a decade, however has left the operate turned off. In Feb. 2022, the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) amended Federal Motor Car Security Normal No. 108, permitting adaptive driving beam (ADB) lighting like Audi’s, however the ruling really difficult issues, arguably making it harder to activate these methods.
“The US had a selected regulation that solely allowed for a excessive or a low beam, however nothing in between,” Audi stated in a press release. “A brand new regulation was handed that allowed for adaptive beam lighting. Nonetheless, the ruling additionally established differing necessities when it comes to testing and certification than the globally accepted and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) knowledgeable resolution. That is the answer now we have provided outdoors of the US since 2012.”
“The brand new regulation requires totally different testing procedures, methodologies, and standards than the remainder of the world and it seems no present methods can meet these necessities,” Audi added.
Apparently, security teams cautioned NHTSA in opposition to this very factor years in the past. “We’re involved that particular elements of the [amendment] will unnecessarily stop producers from implementing ADB methods that absolutely understand their potential to maximise visibility and decrease glare,” the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security stated in a 2018 petition.
“Our lighting normal, FMVSS No. 108, has lengthy balanced the seeing wants of drivers whereas limiting glare to others,” NHTSA stated in a press release.
The Q6 E-Tron expands on Audi’s matrix-beam know-how by providing lively lighting. If geared up with this feature, the Q6 E-Tron can change between eight totally different entrance operating gentle designs, a few of which have a twinkling impact that you just received’t instantly discover, however have a look at the lights lengthy sufficient and it turns into obvious. Ditto the rear; the OLED taillights have this similar shimmering look, which is one thing no different automaker gives.
However there’s a security angle, too. If the Audi Q6 E-Tron’s navigation system detects a visitors jam or accident forward, it could possibly change the rear OLED show to indicate a warning triangle, alerting the drivers behind you that one thing’s taking place up forward. Equally, when the Q6 E-Tron is in its automated parallel parking mode, the automobile’s taillights will put up this signature together with the blinker, letting individuals know you’re backing into that area.
These small capabilities don’t drastically improve Audi’s matrix lighting, however they’re a step in a brand new course. Within the meantime, the US-spec Q6 E-Tron could have totally different LED operating gentle signatures out there, they’re simply static – you realize, “regular burning.” If and when the US ever evolves its lighting requirements to match the remainder of the world, Audi says it could possibly activate the complete matrix characteristic set for 1000’s of automobiles, together with older fashions. Right here’s hoping.