Automobiles have advanced throughout the years and feature some of the most powerful engines on the inside. However, they seldom focus on the minor changes like exterior lighting which makes life much easier for its users.

The people at BMW have thought about it and have managed to come up with a brand new technology for their 7 series cars. Known as the Welcome Light Carpet, the lighting system found in the BMW 7 will make it easy to spot the vehicle in a dark parking lot. It not only illuminates the sides of the vehicle to easily identify its position among other vehicles, but also has a pattern to highlight the side of the door, making it easier to find the lock and open it.

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Many automobile manufacturers have tried the same, but much to the dismay of the users, they were either on the exterior mirror or near the ground. It technically voids the purpose because these lights are supposed to make it easy for a person to walk the sides in a dark area and mount the car. BMW has made it possible with the help of a research team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF.

The research team has come up with a microoptic lens which projects the light directly on the ground and can easily cover up to four square meters. The advanced optical technology used in it enables it to create a stylish striped pattern that runs alongside the door, allowing people to identify the door of their car in dark areas. Multiple projects, the size of a button has been combined together into a honeycomb shape so as to make this possible. Without the help of the people at Fraunhofer, this may have never been possible, but BMW has pulled it off.

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The compact size of the projectors allowed the manufacturer to conveniently mount it in the underbody, which is what most manufacturers couldn’t accomplish. Integrating such tiny light projectors at the bottom of the car is not a good idea as they could easily get damaged. The researchers have thought about the same and have placed the light to look in the opposite direction to avoid damages.

However, it may not be possible to completely eradicate dust accumulation; but the good news is, they can reduce the brightness of the lights found in the BMW 7, but can never completely hide them.

Published by Amy McBride

When Amy McBride is not designing websites, she is writing about business, marketing, and investing for a number of prominent U.S. publications. Her background in business management has given her a unique insight into the topics she covers. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding and hiking through the thick forests of her home state of Pennsylvania