BMW i8 concept.

Those futuristic laser headlights that we saw on BMW's radical i8 concept car are more than just fictional fancy and it's likely you'll be seeing them on BMW's production cars in a few years from now.

According to Automotive News Europe, BMW engineers are developing the technology for commercial use.

They cite some big advantages over the LEDs that are all the rage these days, the lasers boasting a thousand times the intensity while using less than half the amount of energy.

Even the small size of these lights (they're 100 times smaller than LEDs) will give stylists more free range as the headlight size can be reduced.

In the words of BMW's optical systems designer, Hanafi Abdul: “We can reduce power consumption and weight, and it provides our stylists more freedom to produce beautiful shapes.”

At the heart of this lighting system are three compact diodes that direct minute laser beams onto a lens, via a mirror. These laser beams then activate the yellow phosphorous emanating from the lens to produce white light. Oncoming motorists thus do not see the laser beams.