FDA Holds Up BMW i8 Laser Light Approval In U.S.
A recent report on a BMW forum made a reference to the laser lights technology for the BMW i8 coming this Fall in the US. We reached out to BMW North America and learned that, as of now, the FDA has not approved the laser lights for the i8. FDA is the governing agency responsible to approve medical devices, a category where the lasers fall under in the US.
Laser Light technology is currently available in Europe for the new BMW i8 where it costs 9,500 euros. Earlier this year, BMW said the laser lights could be retrofitted after delivery if need be and a kit will be offered for U.S. customers, at an extra cost.
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Compared to the standard LED lights, the optional laser lights ensures a high beam range of up to 600 meters. This means that the already high illumination range of the modern LED high beam is doubled. Thanks to the new laser technology, it is possible to increase energy efficiency by a further 30 percent compared to already highly power-saving LED light. The U.S. market will get a slightly modified version of the laser tech, twice stronger than regular headlights compared to three times as they are in Europe.
Furthermore, the laser lights in the U.S. for the i8 will not have the blue lights and they will automatically turn off for incoming cars.
A spokesperson for BMW North America said that the November date referenced by some other reports might be pushed back.