Japanese car company Mitsubishi has announced its new Safe and Secure Lighting system, which utilizes a mixture of symbols projected on road surfaces and electronic car displays to signal vehicle warning signals, movement and actions.
For example: if a driver is backing up, the system projects a series of large illuminated arrows, signaling the backward movement to pedestrians and other vehicles. The system also can inform pedestrians and bicyclists when a vehicle occupant is opening a door, a welcome feature for the rising cycling community. The system is activated automatically, based on occupant actions, so drivers don’t have to worry about learning an entirely new way to signal.
The company’s press release states, “According to research, 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities on roads occur at night, so illuminated projections that are clearly visible to pedestrians in the dark are expected to help reduce such fatalities.”
This system could also be a precursor to a new set of signals for autonomous vehicles to help them integrate into modern roads, which will have a mixture of traditional and autonomous vehicles. Signaling what moves the cars intend to make could help reduce future accidents between self-driving cars and conventional drivers.