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Mercedes-Benz Concept Car Has Laser Headlights

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SHANGHAI, May 1, 2013 — Mercedes-Benz debuted its Concept GLA compact SUV at the Shanghai auto show this week. The vehicle's front headlights each feature a laser beam that can project pictures or video from a smartphone, a hard drive or the Internet onto a screen or other surface.

Company engineers and designers say the projectors can be considered an enhanced head-up display that could improve road safety by projecting directional arrows from the navigation system onto the road to inform other drivers and pedestrians as to where the driver is heading.

The driving lights are the first to use a laser beam reflected off a mirror, Mercedes-Benz said, while the daytime running lamps and indicator lights use LEDs.

In 2011, BMW announced it would incorporate lasers into its headlights within three to five years, starting with its plug-in hybrid, the i8 Concept (See: BMW to Replace LED Headlights with Lasers).

The Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA with laser headlights debuted at the Shanghai auto show this week.
The Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA with laser headlights debuted at the Shanghai auto show this week. Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.

The concept car also has two high-definition cameras housed in the front roof rail that can be used to take 3-D images as the car drives, or they can be removed and used elsewhere, such as in a mountain bike helmet, the company said. Each camera contains a lamp unit to provide lighting. Footage from the cameras can be projected or played inside the car on its view screen.

Although the vehicle was impressing crowds at the Shanghai auto show (April 21-29), there is no official word on whether the 2015 production version of the vehicle, expected to be released in the fall of 2014, will have lasers.

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May 2013
AmericasLEDsAsia-PacificBMWBusinessConcept GLAConsumerDisplaysGLAGLA SUVi8 Conceptlaser headlampslaser headlightslaser-projector headlightslaserslight sourcesMercedes-BenzShanghai auto show

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