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Self-Driving Mercedes-Benz S-Class Puts on a Turquoise Light Show

A few days ago, news surfaced of Jaguar Land Rover working on a technology meant to allow pedestrians to better understand what an autonomous vehicle (AV) is planning to do. JLR used light bars projected onto the road for the task.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Uses Turquoise Lights to Display Intentions 20 photos
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In Mercedes’ case, the same idea of allowing pedestrians a better understanding of an AV’s intentions resulted in an S-Class vehicle being decorated with strips of turquoise lights. Using these lights, the car communicates what it plans to do, signals it has detected humans and generally lets anyone who’s around have an idea of what is about to happen.

Now, seeing weird lights placed on a car come on as soon as one passes in front of it might be a bit scary, but Mercedes believes the opposite: these lights and what they represent might help people trust self-driving cars more.

The light signals have been designed to cover 360-degrees of space around the vehicle. There are lights fitted onto the roof, in the windscreen, the radiator grille, the headlamps, the exterior mirrors and the lower area of the windows.

There is an entire set of signal combinations created by Mercedes to represent different things: short rows of illuminated dots on the roof are supposed to mean the car has seen and recognized road users, slow flashing is supposed to stand for braking, while rapid flashing translates into the car’s intention to get going.

Ok, but why turquoise of all colors?

Mercedes says it chose this because of the results of several studies it conducted in Sindelfingen. And you guessed it, most of the people taking part – Mercedes did not say how many – liked turquoise.

The German carmaker did not say what it plans to do with this technology, but since it too is working on autonomous cars, they’ll surely find some use for it.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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