The automaker expects to have Organic Light in production vehicles within three years. However, it won't replace more than a handful of lights at first. Existing OLEDs aren't bright enough to take over from brake lights, headlights and indicators; for now, they'll be complements to LEDs and lasers. Even with that limitation, though, the power- and space-saving advantages could be important for the next wave of electric vehicles.
The tail lights on most existing cars leave a lot to be desired: they're big, power-hungry and need reflectors to be visible from all angles. BMW is clearly frustrated with those clunky designs, as it just shared a load of details about its upcoming, OLED-based Organic Light technology. The extra-thin, uniformly lit strips promise tail lights (and some interior lights) that are both easy to see without reflectors and use just a fraction of the power of existing systems. They should also lead to more exotic-looking cars -- BMW can already cut the OLEDs into any 2D shape it likes, and it's planning both flexible and 3D lights in the future.
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