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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Listener Thoughts On Laser Beam Headlights

Audi's new laser headlight technology will make its way into the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro race car. (Audi Sport)

Audi’s new laser headlight technology will make its way into the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro race car. (Audi Sport)

Earlier this week, Paul Eisenstein, publisher of the car news website The Detroit Bureau, joined us to talk about all the high-tech car innovations at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (See the interview here.)

There was one thing he said that drew some pretty strong listener reaction. It was about a new device from Audi.

“This is a car that replaces its high beams with laser beams. And it’s so powerful that with the high beams this vehicle would be able to light up the road a third of a mile ahead of you,” Eisenstein said.

Fay Nissenbaum wrote in the comments, “Brighter headlights – arent we blinded already by those using high beams all the time?”

Rick Evans wrote, “Laser high beams? Wonderful. Now we will have morons blinding oncoming drivers from a third of a mile away. In today’s over illuminated cities and suburbs you hardly need to use headlights, much less blind people with high beams or those idiotic extra bright bluish lights.”

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti says she followed up with Eisenstein about the headlights, and he said it’s not certain that Audi is going to do a production version of the laser-high beams, and if they do, it will almost certainly have an auto-dimming feature. He said other car companies are also experimenting with auto-dimming features.

Let us know what you think in the comments below, or the comments in the original story.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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