LEDs for all driving conditions

Automotive equipment makers show off interesting new uses for LEDs on cars at the 2007 Tokyo auto show.

Yellow LED headlight frame
As a turn signal, the LED headlight frame flashes. CNET Networks

One of the pleasures of the Tokyo auto show is seeing technologies from automotive equipment makers that haven't made it into any current models. This is the stuff that might appear on cars of the future. We saw numerous displays from different companies about how different colored LEDs can be used for exterior and signal lighting on a car. One equipment maker, Koito, had an interesting concept with an LED string framing the headlight housing. The LEDs in this string could flash yellow, working as a turn indicator, or they could turn blue and stay on for night driving. Koito showed off other possibilities, such as having them turn green when its foggy out. No, we're not sure why green would be the color, either, although it would look really cool. Koito also used LEDs for the actual headlights, as well, and could make them turn to illuminate corners.

LED lights for driving in fog.
When its foggy, the LED frame turns green and the headlights turn on a low setting. CNET Networks

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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