The use of LEDs as daytime running lights (DRLs) on cars began with the 2004 Audi A8 W12. One can only imagine that people in Ingolstadt kicking themselves around the boardroom, wondering why they didn’t patent that use for the lights, since subsequently LEDs have become the visual statement signifying “upscale.”
2005 Audi allroad quattro concept: an early implementation of LEDs for DRLs
If you want to be in the game, then you’d better bring on the LEDs.
The latest case-in-point: the forthcoming 2014 Cadillac CTS. Here its LEDs and DRLs galore.
This car has 16 LEDs on each headlamp, eight more on the fender, eight going down to the front bumper, and eight LED lights on the front bumper (these also work as turn signals, about which Brian Smith, CTS exterior design manager said, “The CTS is the first Cadillac to combine DRL and turn signal under the same lens.” Which undoubtedly indicates that there are more Cadillacs to come with this combo.).
And while on the subject of lights, the headlights are based on HID (high intensity discharge) lamps. A single HID element works for both high- and low-beams.