The role headlights play has expanded beyond their main purpose of illuminating the road up ahead. Pioneered by BMW’s archrival Mercedes, a new groundbreaking tech dubbed “Digital Light” transforms a car’s headlights into projectors as a method to communicate with pedestrians about various hazards. On the gimmicky side, there’s this – an LED animation when you unlock the car.

Luxury vehicles have had this “feature” for many years and the owner of a new 3 Series Touring decided to show how it works on his M340i Touring LCI finished in Melbourne Red. Aside from the Operating System 8, the headlights represent the major novelty on the facelifted 3er and lend it a somewhat sharper-looking front end.

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It should be mentioned the M Performance wagon featured in the video above has the adaptive LED headlights as denoted by the blue accents within the clusters. The boomerang-shaped daytime running lights do a little “dance” after the hazard lights flash when the owner unlocks the vehicle. Their intensity increases at the end for a bit more visual drama, but we’ve seen more sophisticated light signatures, especially on the latest Audi models.

At the end of the day, the animation does not serve a functional role, other than allowing BMW to further individualize their own cars to set them apart from rival brands. The adaptive LED headlights are standard on the M340i and M340d models but are also offered as optional equipment on the lesser specifications of the 3 Series LCI.

You can also see the nifty animation in the video below portraying another M340i facelift, but this time it’s a sedan finished in Alpine White with a handful of optional M Performance Parts. Expect more of these light games on future models, not just on BMWs and luxury cars in general, but also on mainstream vehicles since LEDs are gradually becoming the norm even on the most affordable cars.

Source: Lukasz Lesniewicz / YouTube