After three years’ development, an Audi TT with OLED rear lights is now to be seen on Germany’s roads. Note the use of the singular: there is initially only one prototype out and about gaining admiring glances.
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The organic LEDs not only provide attractive, powerful colors, but require significantly smaller amounts of problematic materials in production compared to traditional LEDs.
And what’s more, the OLED lights are especially suited to use on flat surfaces – the reason why there is already a range of smartphones with OLED displays. While they are flat, 3-dimensional automobile back lights definitely aren’t.
For this reason, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research has made the sum of 5.7m euros available to enable a research consortium (University of Cologne, Philips, Audi, Automotive Lighting and Merck) to develop the necessary production techniques.
The tiny but critical catch with OLED lights is the fact that the organic substances dissolve if they come into contact with air. They thus need to be carefully enclosed. With a prototype vehicle now on the roads, this problem has evidently been overcome. We can thus expect that “Made in Germany” high-tech automobile lights will shine brightly across the country’s roads in future.
+ Link: University of Cologne