A Car So Advanced It Needed FDA Approval

Nov 25, 2016

Audi recently lived up to its slogan of “Progress through Technology” when it designed a headlight so advanced that it required FDA approval. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mainly deals with pharmaceuticals and food products, but as it turns the FDA also needs to approve anything with a laser. Yes, the headlight assembly on Audi’s new R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition uses a laser. Here’s what you’ll want to know about this feat of engineering.

The 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition
The 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition in Quantum Gray represents, according to the Audi website, “the full and extensive spectrum of what is available to customers through the Audi exclusive program. Each exclusive edition gains a titanium black-optic exterior package which includes a gloss anthracite front grille and 20-inch 10-spoke-Y-design wheels in high-gloss anthracite finish. The R8’s carbon side blade gets a Solar Orange painted vertical stripe, complementing the racing shell seats, which also boast vertical orange leather elements. The full leather interior package in Black and Signal orange includes an Audi exclusive door sill trim in leather and a leather wrapped steering wheel with a Signal Orange 12 o’clock marker.” It’s truly luxury to the fullest.

Headlights that Need FDA Approval
One of the most renowned components of the 2017 R8 V10 Plus Exclusive Edition is the use of headlights that contain a laser module that operates with “four high intensity laser diodes. Each module bundles these diodes into a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. The R8 exclusive edition is also the first Audi vehicle to couple the laser light with dynamic front turn signals.”

This dramatic lighting innovation requires FDA approval to check the safety of radiation emissions. The high-beam assembly is categorized as Class II, which means “hazard increases when viewed directly for long periods of time. Hazard increases if viewed with optical aids.” Overall, Audi is safe to use lasers to make one-of-a-kind headlights as long as consumers don’t stare into the car’s high beams for long periods of time or with a magnifying glass.


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