Auto Giant Magna Prepares to Make Every Part of a Car Light Up
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Auto Giant Magna Prepares to Make Every Part of a Car Light Up

Auto Tech
Speaker 1: Since the beginning of cars, car lighting has been delivered through lights, specific dedicated fixtures, some brighter than others that are the place where lighting happens, a dedicated module. But what if almost any part of the surface of any car could be a light that would be a game changer and changing Speaker 1: Automotive [00:00:30] technology. Giant. Magna has something called breakthrough lighting, nothing humble about that, right? It's a technology that can embed lighting into the surface of any thermoplastic body panel. And these days that's a fair amount of body panels, the light emanates from inside the panel, just under the skin. But when it's not being used, you don't even see that it's there. And it can take just about any shape, like a canvas, more than like a module. Now this may all sound like [00:01:00] a little bit of, you know, auto show circuit silliness, but I think it's got four good reasons to get excited about the first of which is styling. Car designers do not love lights. Yeah. They do a lot with them, but they'd rather not have them in the way. This is a module. It's an assembly. It's got some mass, some depth, and it kind of has to be certain places largely by federal regulation and also largely functionally. But if you could turn the whole car into a canvas for lighting, I guarantee you stylists will rejoice [00:01:30] and say, let's rethink it. Can we actually make cars that look like they did in those Sid meat illustrations? I'd be all for that. Speaker 1: Then there's communication. As we get to autonomous cars and cars that you even remote control with a phone app, or what have you. We need those cars to be able to express to us what they're thinking and what they're about to do next. And there's only so much you can do by trying to express threat through a series of blinks. That [00:02:00] only goes so far, but if the whole car could almost become a messaging canvas, that becomes real useful at a time when we have to establish trust for cars that are doing things somewhat on their own, Speaker 1: Let's not forget about personalization. We love personalized lighting on our cars. If you drive a late model car, I'll bet. You've got some L E D accent lights inside and they can have their color and intensity changed. This is a big deal or a whole lot of folks who are out there in the fast [00:02:30] and furious frame of mind. They tack lighting all over the outside of their car. The appetite's already there. People would love to be able to make their car bespoke by adjusting a lighting pattern. That is more than just limited here where federal regulations say you can't customize it. And then there's lightweighting. Sure. Automotive lights where they're all plastic assemblies. Not exactly the heaviest thing on a car, but in this day and age auto makers are interested in saving ounces, not just pounds. And if you take something like [00:03:00] this and turn it into a thin integrated panel, you reduce the weight to almost nothing. According to Magna, car makers will perk up and take notice of that. Speaker 1: Now this is not some futuristic tag. Magna says this will be available for production as soon as 2023. That is not the same as saying, any car maker will put it into production by 23, they may do it. They may not. They may do it later than that. Maybe quite a bit later. And then you've still got this idea of federal [00:03:30] regulations lagging way behind technology, just because you can put lights anywhere. It doesn't mean the federal regulations will allow you to do so. And us lighting regulations are notoriously slow at moving forward and embracing new tech that said it does look as though we are on the cusp of getting cars to be more of a canvas and less of a thing that has a few pinpoints of light.

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