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Mitsubishi Electric Develops Ground-Illuminating Indicators for Vehicles

Published: Feb 08,2018

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced today a new automotive indicator system that projects animated illuminations on road surfaces around the vehicle, which can change in response to approaching passersby, to realize highly intuitive, easy-to-see warnings about the vehicle’s intended movements for enhanced road safety.

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The road-projected illuminations effectively warn others about the vehicle’s movements and actions even in bad weather. The illuminations’ animation patterns change when various sensors in the vehicle detect changes in the area around the vehicle, such as an approaching pedestrian. The system also uses interior illuminations to keep the driver well informed about the area around the vehicle.

The new system includes a development and evaluation tool that manufacturers can use to check illumination patterns before installing the system in vehicles.

Illuminated indicators for intuitive communication with other vehicles and pedestrians offer important advantages for automotive safety. Since the movements and actions of future autonomous vehicles could be difficult to interpret, these vehicles will require extra-intuitive illuminated indicators to communicate effectively with other drivers and pedestrians. Also, according to research conducted in 2016 by the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis, about 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities on roads occur at night, so illuminated projections that are clearly visible in the dark are expected to help reduce such fatalities.

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