I am very privileged, I must admit, in my job. After having been given to drive the best cars equipped with their latest cutting edge lighting technologies—A7, CLS, E Class, 7 Series, S Class—I was invited last week to drive the new A8 equipped with matrix beam. When, during the DVN Shanghai workshop last April, Dr. Huhn presented the matrix beam with a SOP before the end of the year, I was sceptical. I couldn’t imagine such a new technology entering production so soon. So I was expecting a very bad light for the first generation technology, as you expect from all first generations in new technologies.
I drove the car over more than an hour on all the kinds of roads—tightly curved roads, large main roads and motorways, meeting and overtaking a lot of cars. The whole time the ADB was active, meaning I never touched the switch, whether or not there were cars ahead. The new A8’s lighting is not the benchmark as A7 or CLS are, mainly because of homogeneity imperfections on small roads and in curves due to the low beam part and also to the upper part of the light from the matrix beam
After the A8 night drive, I drove one hour more with the A7 which confirmed the difference in homogeneity.
However, I was impressed by two very positive points:
• the light on straight and flat roads (and motorways) with a nice width, a good range and a good homogeneity on the road
• the ADB (Glare Free High Beam) electronic function which allows having all the parts of the light lit except those aiming at opposite cars. Driving with this function seemed to me more efficient than the current technologies with actuators thanks to more light around the black holes. Even the light is not at the top level, this first light with matrix beam opens the way to a wonderful improvement of lighting in the next years with the next generation.
Congratulations to Audi and the team of Huhn, Berlitz, and Hamm who have succeeded in this great challenge. The results further cement the pioneering position of their company as lighting leaders.
DVN Editor in Chief