Headlight technology continues to evolve, allowing safer night vision for drivers and additional styling opportunites for car designers.  For the 2021 e-tron and e-tron Sportback models, Audi is the first manufacturer to offer Digital Matrix LED headlamps on a mass-produced production vehicle.  The technology uses 1.3 million micromirrors per headlight, essentially operating like movie projectors, emitting tiny unique particles or adaptable light. At market introduction, this lighting technology offers a selection of five different welcome/leaving animations when the vehicle is parked, each with unique motion graphics and text selected through a vehicle’s MMI touchscreen display.

Out on the road, DML lighting produces a 50-meter “light carpet” that is designed to keep light within the driver’s lane and extends the carpet left or right when changing lanes and helps to avoid a “blinding” effect for oncoming traffic.  Low-beam curved lighting bends below oncoming traffic and can help illuminate people or objects on the side of the road, which are otherwise difficult to detect, and can place on-ground light arrows that place the vehicle’s tires within its lane.  Electrostatically controlled micromirrors can adjust light beam pixels up to 5,000 times per second, for instant adapatability to changing road and environment conditions.

The total functionality of Digital Matrix LED headlights is not yet legal for use in the U.S., but you can check out the European-specification DML headlights in various conditions in this video.