External communication in automated driving


The transition toward automated driving is one of the main developments within the automotive branch. Although current technology offers the opportunity to make cars drive automated, safety and regulations do not allow this ‘yet’. The main focus of this project is to develop a suitable solution for issues caused by novelties of automated driving.

Our personal vision related to this project assumes that there will be a smooth transition period from ‘traditional driving’ to ‘automated driving’. Our goal was to increase trust in automated cars, by developing a system that is able to communicate the intentions of the car towards the environment.

Three iterations each including research, testing and prototyping, resulted in a final concept. This concept is based on the principle ‘Do you see me seeing you’. By using indicators on the outside of the automated vehicle traditional road users can be informed if they are registered by the vehicle or not.

For example: when you want to cross the street and a car is approaching you will make eye contact with the driver of the vehicle. In the future the driver will most likely be occupied with other activities. As a result of that it most likely that there is no eye contact any more.

To communicate that the car has noticed you, and it is safe to proceed your movement, we developed a concept containing a LED-strip surrounding the entire body of the car. The strip makes use of technology that is able to recognize other road users, and displays a dot right in the position where the person is at that moment. The dot also follows the person when he passes the car. It is literally a reflection of yourself on the car body.

The concrete outcome of the project is a high end 3D printed scale model, equipped with the developed concept. The model envisions how concept could be e integrated within modern day cars in a relative short period of time.

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