How Lighting Could Make Autonomous Vehicles Safer for Pedestrians

January 14, 2019

South Korean car parts firm Hyundai Mobis showcased what it calls its Communication Lighting concept at the CES show in Las Vegas last week.

The firm says autonomous vehicles outfitted with its Communication Lighting can detect a pedestrian from more than 450 feet away. Upon detection, headlamps project a bright red warning symbol indicating to the pedestrians that is unsafe for them to move in front of the vehicle. When the vehicle reaches a complete stop, the headlamps project a crosswalk symbol onto the ground to indicate to nearby pedestrians that it is safe to proceed.

The concept also uses LED, digital boards, headlamp projection and sound to communicate with nearby pedestrians and vehicles during various driving scenarios.

As pedestrians clear the path of the vehicle, LED boards begin signaling when the vehicle is about to resume motion by counting down—similar to traditional crossing signs used today—while showing directional arrows that indicate the direction the vehicle intends to move.

“Light has been used as a conduit for communication among vehicles and pedestrians for almost as long as the automobile has existed, so we are excited to lead the evolution of this technology to save lives and offer peace of mind to all that use the road,” said Mirco Goetz, director of lamp engineering, Hyundai Mobis.

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