Berlitz is one of the development engineers who have helped put Audi in the lead in modern automobile lighting technology. LED daytime running lights and headlights are development milestones; the next step forward will be OLED. Displays using this technique have already reached series production maturity in the electronic industry. Berlitz and his team cooperate closely with Audi Design on utilizing OLEDs as exterior lighting for the automobile
Audi actually has 3 OLED based designs. The first is rather simple - rear lights that are made from four small red OLED panels, and a flashing turn indicator made from 8 panels.
The second OLED application is covering the car with stripes made of hundreds of small triangular OLEDs. This is beautiful, and also enables the car "to be identified in a whole series of ways that can be constantly varied".
The third application is the rear-mounted "swarm" - which makes tiny OLED lighting panels into a large display.
The Audi roadmap for introducing OLEDs to series production will take several years to put into effect. At the current level of development, the new diodes only withstand low currents and the acceptable temperature range ends at about 80 degrees Celsius. OLEDs will make an appearance as rear lights in the relatively near future; for brake lights, which have to be about five times brighter, a few more years will elapse. But Berlitz can also visualize white OLEDs being used for daytime running lights and side lights.
The biggest target of all – especially for Audi’s designers – are three-dimensional OLEDs. The first prototypes are now appearing as part of a project with public support. They are fascinating: delicate, almost weightless ring-shaped sources of light, installed on various levels in the rear light units of an Audi TT.