Because laser-powered headlights can put out more brightness for their size, the headlamp units themselves can be much smaller.

Courtesy of BMW USA

Laser-powered Headlights Availability

While many of us are still waiting for the day we can afford a car with "mere" LED headlights, there's nothing wrong with drooling just a bit at the thought of flaunting laser beams on our next ride.

BMW, the developer and so far frontrunner on this technology, hasn't yet said when laser-powered headlights will be a regular option on its production cars and SUVs.

But the company has said it plans to turn the i8 Concept into a production vehicle. We'll have to wait and see how many of its innovative features -- including laser beam-powered headlights -- survive to make it to the car that hits the dealerships. And given the "arms-race" nature of the auto business, it's probably a safe bet that other manufacturers are already trying to figure out how to produce their own laser-augmented lighting systems.

For lots more information on laser-powered headlights and other cutting-edge car tech, click to the next page.