Audi will equip its upcoming Q6 E-Tron with lights whose pattern changes depending on the situation or wishes of the owner, the automaker announced on Monday.
The electric compact crossover, which has been plagued by software development issues that have held back its launch by more than a year, will feature Audi's second-generation OLEDs for the headlights and taillights, a technology the automaker said will enable the lights to act as intelligent displays that can communicate information to onlookers.
An example is what Audi refers to as a communication light that will feature in the taillights of the Q6 E-Tron. It will be able to warn other road users of accidents or breakdowns using cloud-based traffic information and the display of specific light signatures. It's similar to a system Audi already launched in the headlights of the A8 flagship sedan in 2022.
Audi said the communication light could also be used to notify other road users for emergency assist, an imminent rear-end collision, emergency or roadside assistance calls, and more. Another application could be to warn approaching vehicles or cyclists that a door is about to be opened.
Audi Q6 E-Tron prototype
Another situation is using a specific light signature for when the Q6 E-Tron's automated park assist feature is in operation. Of course, there is no accepted meaning for different light signatures, so the information the lights impart would be up to the interpretation of the onlookers.
Audi said Q6 E-Tron owners will also be able to change the light signatures for the daytime running lights for both the headlights and taillights. Owners will be able to install this feature on demand via the infotainment system or Audi app. Audi will offer multiple patterns to choose from, including some that feature an additional coming or leaving home sequence.
The lighting functions are controlled by a software module developed jointly by Audi and Volkswagen Group's Cariad software development division.
The Q6 E-Tron is being developed alongside a related electric Porsche Macan. The Q6 E-Tron is set to debut later this year while the electric Macan will arrive in early 2024. Both models will use VW Group's PPE platform for high-volume premium electric vehicles.