Hyundai Mobis hopes the technology will help improve pedestrian safety.
While Hyundai unveiled the wacky walking Elevate car concept at CES, the Korean automaker's parts affiliate, Hyundai Mobis, has unveiled something more practical for the real world that could potentially save lives. Dubbed the Communication Lighting concept, the autonomous concept features futuristic lighting system designed to prevent collisions with pedestrians. According to the company, the lighting can be seen from pedestrians up to 450 feet away. The lights are hidden in the body, giving the concept a streamlined look.
If a pedestrian is detected, a bright red warning symbol is projected warning them that it isn't safe to cross in front of the vehicle. When the car comes to a stop, the headlights project a crosswalk symbol onto the ground allowing the pedestrian to cross safely. When it's time for the car to move again, LED boards will show which way it intends to move. A countdown will also show when it will start moving, which works like crossing signs that count down how long people have left to cross the street before the traffic lights change.
The concept also has an "Indicating Lighting Zone" informing people when it is operating in autonomous driving mode and uses sounds and other LEDs to improve road safety. Hyundai Mobis says the technology could be rolled out relatively quickly and cheaply, but it will require automakers to incorporate the lighting technologies into the design of their vehicles.
"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," said Mirco Goetz, Hyundai MOBIS' director of lamp engineering.