Audi Opens New Lighting Competence Centre
German car company Audi is extending its lead in the field of automotive lighting technology with a new lighting competence centre at the company’s site in Ingolstadt. Part of the centre includes a 120 metre long tunnel. Vehicles can be driven into this underground light tunnel which offers new possibilities, especially for the development of innovative lighting solutions and camera-based lighting assistance systems.
“Audi is the leading brand for automotive lighting technology,” stated Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. “From the xenon plus headlight to the matrix‑LED headlight to the laser light, we have been putting pioneering innovations into series production for the past 20 years. Light is part of an automobiles’ aesthetics and is becoming an interactive medium of information.”
The new lighting competence centre at the corporate headquarters of the Audi Group is the biggest lighting tunnel for vehicles in Europe. Inside the matt‑black‑painted tunnel, the development engineers test systems such as adaptive high beam and camera‑based lighting assistance systems. Such systems avoid dazzling drivers of oncoming traffic and enhance safety.
The lighting competence centre and the laser lab, built under an eleven story building, presented a great challenge for the civil engineers, because it had to do it without supporting columns and required an interior height of up to nine meters. The floor surface is similar to a normal road to closely mimic real driving and light reflectance conditions. The Audi engineers cooperate closely with the designers so that new ideas can be put on the road even faster. Their motorsport‑colleagues also often deliver valuable stimulus from the world’s toughest test bench: the racetrack.