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Next-gen vehicles to sport OLED-based exterior lighting

Posted: 13 Feb 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Osram  OLED  exterior lighting  BMW 

This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas witnessed the unveiling of organic LED (OLED)-based taillights of BMW's M4 Concept Iconic Lights showcar. Osram revealed that the innovative lighting technology will be available in series vehicles as early as next year.

Being a planar technology, OLED lighting claims to offer unseen design flexibility and creative options, enabling designers to achieve a high brand recognition value. Plus, it consumes even less power than conventional LEDs. Previously, OLEDs suffered from their sensitivity against humidity. All the sealing techniques developed by lighting companies proved that in the long run they ultimately were not good enough.

OLED-based exterior lighting

OLED-based exterior lighting

Now, it seems that Osram has gotten to grips with this weakness. According to the company, improved materials and manufacturing processes led to significant improvements in the long-term impermeability of OLED sealing. Likewise the company also claims to have mastered the temperature sensitivity of their OLEDs, another weak point in past products. Though an Osram spokesperson declined to name its customer(s), the company announced the general availability of OLED lighting in series vehicles.

Given the fact that BMW already exhibited its Iconic Lighting concept car with OLEDs, it seems obvious that it will be the Munich-based carmaker that will come out first with the innovative lighting technology. However, also competitor Audi has already shown design studies with OLED exterior lighting. It remains unclear who will make the race and introduce them into series production.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
  EE Times Europe

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