Even on the darkest night you can always tell as an Audi approaches thanks to its light signature – and the new DMD lighting technology now available on the Audi e-tron S models takes that technology to new levels of sophistication and brightness.

2 May, 2022

Driving at night at speeds of well over 300km/h is the sort of time you really appreciate good headlights. During endurance classics like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi had the opportunity to test and refine many of its lighting technologies that have subsequently found their way into its series production models. Like massive advancements in engine technology, lighting has become yet another example of the brand’s motorsport endeavours being used as a test bed for leading technologies that are now synonymous with Audi.

That reputation for cutting-edge lighting technology is well deserved, its distinctive light signatures on different models making them easy to spot and identify on the roads and giving each its own character – as well as providing unmatched automotive illumination when it counts.

Lights that probe further and further into the night with even purer light have become a mainstay of the Audi brand, and development continues to further refine and improve its lighting offering for greater clarity and safety.

Recently released in Australia, the Audi e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback are not just the first all-electric vehicles from Audi to wear the coveted S badge, but also the first to offer Australian customers Digital Matrix LED headlight technology with DMD as optional equipment.

While Matrix LED headlights and dynamic indicators are standard equipment on these high-performance, all-electric models, the option of digital Matrix LED headlight technology takes things to another level again.

The digital micromirror device (DMD) technology behind the digital Matrix LED headlights is absolutely state-of-the-art. Similar to video projectors, each headlight is made up of some 1.3 million micromirrors that refract the rays into tiny pixels, ensuring highest precision in light control. 

Quite aside from producing an extraordinarily clear, clean light, this also forms the basis for functions such as the lane and orientation lights that are designed for use on freeways and which illuminate the driver’s lane in especially bright light.

Of course, oncoming drivers are not blinded by this bright light, as it automatically masks the oncoming driver without compromising the vehicle’s light – the system capable of making minute adjustments up to 5000 per second.

Then, when unlocking and exiting the car, the digital Matrix LED headlights can cast projections onto floors or walls, which are known as the dynamic coming home/leaving home animations. These elaborate light functions are customisable through the vehicle’s MMI, allowing customers to  tailor the show to their own tastes.

It is the next level in the development of automotive lighting and demonstrates the incredible versatility of this new lighting technology which is both supremely practical and more than a little fun into the bargain.