Turn any body panel into a light show that is hidden when closed with Magna

Automotive parts supplier Magna today announced its latest invention. Its “breakthrough lighting” technology allows an automaker to turn the entire liftgate of a car into a light element.

The company is demonstrating the power of technology with “Litgate”. The part is a complete vehicle liftgate that has turned into a lighting element.

“Magna’s breakthrough lighting enhances design independence and enables more alternative features to differentiate brands that can enhance our customer experience,” said Graham Burroughs, global president of Magna Exteriors. “As the industry creates significant momentum around electrified and autonomous vehicles, we expect more aspirations for the kind of development that seamlessly integrates into exterior surfaces.”

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Breakthrough lighting is hidden in the material until there is light, making it look like a normal body panel. This makes it easier (and potentially cheaper) to add light to car designs. Thanks to the use of thermoplastic materials, meanwhile, light panels can be molded into complex shapes, again making it easy to add them to the car.

This, Magna predicts, will make it attractive to designers who are increasingly using lighting elements to differentiate the look of the car. However, they cannot simply apply the technology.

Due to the size of the panels through breakthrough lighting, advanced driver assistance and engineers designing autonomous technology may also find it useful. A large canvas on which to draw multiple colored lights, they can use the panel to communicate important safety information to other road users.

Unlike autonomous driving, however, it is not some remote technology that may or may not happen. Magna expects Breakthrough Lighting to be ready for production in 2023.

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