BMW was among the first carmakers out there to start using LED lights for headlights and other lights. The LEDs are great because they use less power and they are able to last much longer than your typical automotive lighting. BMW is working on what it calls the next logical step in automotive lighting with laser lighting. The lights are expected to come to market within a few years.
The laser light could bring with it new light functions with more comfort and safety when driving. The lights can contribute significantly to higher degree of efficiency in energy and fuel savings. BMW notes that laser light is monochromatic and is known as coherent light so the waves are uniform and have a constant phase difference. That means that the lights can create a near-parallel beam with intensity a thousand times that of LEDs in use today.
The laser beams would use less power as well making them more green and ideal for EVs running from a battery. BMW says that unlike some of the laser pointers on the market the light it uses is safe for humans and animals when used in car lighting. The light isn’t emitted directly; it is converted into a form safe for traffic use. The light produced is a very bright white. LEDs are capable of producing 100 lumens per watt while lasers can produce 170 lumens per watt. BMW also uses lasers in other safety technology.