Hyundai Mobis, the Hyundai subsidiary that deals with design and development of parts and services for the Hyundai Motor, Genesis and Kia brands showcased its latest Communication Lighting concept at CES 2019. The concept uses an ‘Indicating Lighting Zone’ to allow other road users to know when an autonomous vehicle is employing the self-driving mode.
The concept included a ‘Communication Lighting Zone’ which comprised elements like LED, digital boards, headlamp projection and sound. All these components work together to communicate with nearby pedestrians and vehicles during various driving scenarios, so that the roads are safer for everyone.
Hyundai Mobis said it came up with the concept in order to reduce the number of accidents that can occur during the development and testing of autonomous vehicle technology, like the one in mid-March last year when an Uber vehicle killed a pedestrian.
The autonomous vehicles which are equipped with communication lighting can sense the presence of a pedestrian from over 450 feet away, and once a pedestrian is detected, headlamps project a bright red warning symbol indicating that is it is unsafe to move in front of the self-driving vehicle. When the vehicle achieves a complete stop, the headlamps project a crosswalk symbol onto the ground to show pedestrians who are nearby that it is safe to proceed.
As pedestrians clear away from the path of the vehicle, LED boards are used to indicate how soon the vehicle will start moving again with a count down, like the signs at traffic lights in many urban areas, while using directional arrows to give an idea of the direction in which the vehicle intends to move.
The communication lighting can be integrated with Mobis’ Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) enabled Adaptive Drive Beam (ABD) technology, or AADB—a headlamp innovation which was announced earlier this year. The integrated solution comes with a more responsive self-dimming headlamp as it has a higher level of capability for object detection and processing, with vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-pedestrian interaction.
The company said that with OEMs, suppliers and technology companies working hard to be the first to bring new developments to market, the core concerns continue to be safety, complexity, infrastructure and governance needed for full autonomy. Communication lighting is all about using intelligent lighting solutions to save lives and hence the solution is likely to be seen soon in new vehicles across OEMs.
Micro Goetz, director of lamp engineering, Hyundai Mobis said: “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. Our primary focus on the safe progression to future mobility will enable our industry to continue the advancement of autonomous vehicle technology, while helping to keep pedestrians and drivers out of harm’s way.”
The Communication Lighting Experience Zone was not the only technology that was in the spotlight at the Hyundai Mobis booth. Other technologies from Hyundai MOBIS related to autonomous driving, infotainment and eco-friendly solutions also drew considerable attention at the show.
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