Call me old-fashioned, but I would rather see engineering focused on the "lines" of a car – not so much to the "lights." Seems like we are headed down a road that is also being evident in our towns and cities – for some reason I can't comprehend, our cars and buildings are thought to be deficient if they don't have an excessive amounts of bright and colorful lighting to overwhelm our senses. Emergency vehicles have brought lighting to blinding levels so that at least for me they serve not only to alert, but to burn my retinas as I pass by, almost causing me to have a wreck myself if I look for more than a moment. I think safety = visibility but we have departed from the practical and have entered into the realm of stylistic designers who envision lighting as fashion statements. The problem is that they are often gaudy ones that over stimulates the senses without serving any practical purpose except to distract...and BTW - a Ford F-150 with their formidable front grill on my rear is going to beat that Caddy for aggression every time.
Holy cow! Did I just see cadillac looking like a Bentley, M300, or even an Audi? Sad, sad... Hope cadillac doesn't turn into another Hyundai wanna-be a mercedes. LEDs are a not so good of an idea. They don't last long and with 200+ your always going to have one going out and no one will replace them because you can't screw a $1 bulb into it and go on your merry way. I thought they learned something from when cadillac release the LED 3rd brake light. They are expensive and most of them on the road are half out if they still work.
A "mid-size luxury" can get away with this, yet let a motorcycle try it and see what happens. I have many friends, and you can find stories all over the net about guys that have put leds on their bikes to improve visibility; daytime white running lights, all colors at night. They routinely get pulled over and told that the leds cause "a distraction" and they can't use them (and forget blue no matter what; these are for cop cars and such exclusively). I'm not talking about flashing, blinking "Look at me, look at me", I'm talking about strategically placed for safety. And don't even think about adding them to your jacket or helmet. Don't take my word for it; research it yourself. A motorcycle can't do this, but a Caddy can have them "so you know when one comes up behind you". This is up there with the commercials that say something like "and goes 140mph" (or whatever). It's a 40 zone in town and at best 90 on the highway around here. Sounds like overcompensation in the pants department to me.
When you see an Audi with one of the running light strips not illuminated, what you may be seeing is the turn signal on. Audi deliberately turns off the running lights on the side where the turn signal is active, in order to enhance lighting contrast. Not my favorite way to use asymmetry, but it is effective at grabbing your attention.
"As LED prices continue to drop..." - yes, but incandescent bulbs are still cheaper, which is why they are still standard for non-luxury cars (where the profit margins are thinner).
Do the designers assume that the LEDs will last the life of the car and design them as a non-user-replaceable part? How many LEDs in the rear/brake/turn light cluster can be "out" before the car fails a roadworthiness test?
You want aggressive? My 1976 green Jeep Cherokee Wide Track with a black cattle guard on the front and big tires. I miss that old rust bucket (literally, it's front profile included rusty jagged edges from the wheel flares)! To quote Hot Rod Lincoln, "that caddy pulled over and let us by!" Good times man, good times!
Today as I tool around in my black Hybrid FFH I have a different problem. My car seems to be invisible to other drivers. I've been contemplating LED accents near the roof line (not to intimidate) to give it some visibility. I haven't seen anything aftermarket (or even on new cars) so I guess it's another DIY project on my list.
Regarding the Audi, burnt out or just broken, I noticed two such in the last month. The drivers probably aren't aware, but the message it's sending probably isn't what they're thinking. In the case of the CTS, kinda spoils the whole "johnny danger" thing, don't ya think?
Not directly related to this story, but yesterday I saw something that I never saw before: A newer Audi, with one side of its distinctive LED "eyebrow" lights burnt out. Well, I'm guessing that the LEDs weren't really burnt out, but they were off on one side for some reason, and I have never seen that before on an Audi.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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