“Nowadays, drivers can communicate with other drivers and pedestrians in a variety of ways, such as using signal lights and gestures. But what if the car is unmanned?
Nowadays, drivers can communicate with other drivers and pedestrians in a variety of ways, such as using signal lights and gestures. But what if the car is unmanned?
With the rise of self-driving cars, the signals that drivers transmit valuable vehicle information to other drivers and pedestrians need to be further expanded to promote better communication between cars and pedestrians. Driverless cars will need more efficient ways to convey information and intentions. In this regard, Display technology will become a key interface for communication between the vehicle and surrounding vehicles and pedestrians.
At present, there are many kinds of displays equipped on cars, but few displays can realize the function of communication between the car and the surrounding environment. The transparent window display may become the corresponding solution. There are multiple reasons why transparent window display technology can further enhance the performance of vehicles so that drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists of any vehicle on the road can understand vehicle signals when sharing the road with autonomous vehicles.
Signal signs will be everywhere
Traffic signals have a long history, with hand gestures and wooden signs at the earliest. With the development of urban centers, in order to cope with more cars, buses, pedestrians and cyclists who need to “communication” with each other, traffic lights have also proliferated. However, what about the communication between different drivers or between drivers and pedestrians?
For nearly a century, we have seen car signals evolve from gesture signals to light signals. Turn signal has become a term known to drivers today. When the lights are flashing, everyone can understand the driver’s intentions.
Until now, the driver had to manually turn on the flash to signal. However, as more and more modern cars are equipped with sensors to feed signals to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), these sensors can automatically signal intent, so that the driver does not need to send signals manually. Even today’s cars and buses have these functions, but sometimes communication can be boiled down to eye contact and gestures, such as waving to pedestrians on a crosswalk, which is not possible with driverless cars.
The advent of driverless cars and self-driving buses means that we must not only expand the signals that cars use to convey intent, but also expand the surfaces that cars use to convey information. For example, the use of digital displays can enable driverless cars to clearly signal pedestrians to “go ahead.” However, affixing external signs to ordinary cars in multiple locations will add a lot of complexity-from taking up space outside the vehicle to increasing the number of wiring throughout the vehicle.
The good news is that vehicles can now use multiple surfaces, such as car windows that can be used to show intent. The combination of projection display technology adapted to the automotive industry and the new transparent film makes it possible to use the existing windows of the vehicle to provide multiple communication options. Because these new displays can show schematic diagrams to drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists through car windows, we can adapt to driverless cars.
Transparent window display technology is about to be used in lanes
A transparent display solution suitable for the automotive industry has great potential. It can solve the communication problems caused by driverless cars by displaying detailed images and text on the surface of the car window. For example, whether it is a walking signal during the day or at night. Seen by other drivers and pedestrians.
As shown in Figure 1, by installing a small car-level projector on the side window, rear window or front window, you can use the car window to display key information. The transparent film material embedded in the window layer can display information to the driver, cyclist or pedestrian.
Figure 1: Schematic diagram of projector-based transparent window display settings
Projector-based technology has been used to enhance the driving experience. This technology powers the augmented reality (AR) head-up display (HUD) by displaying information on the windshield, thereby providing critical information when the driver focuses his attention on the road.
Now, the same optical technology can realize the display function of the existing car window infrastructure as needed, but if it is not needed, it is still a fully functional car window. From an aesthetic point of view, you can still have a beautiful-looking car, and from a power point of view, you don’t need to keep the display device running all the time.
Light up the road ahead
The transparent window displays the most likely application that is very simple, that is, sharing information with other drivers and pedestrians to enhance the current signal. In addition, there are many possibilities. For example, before the popularization of self-driving cars, transparent window display could enhance today’s signal technology and gestures while transmitting information.
Taxi services are most likely to be the first to experience transparent window displays, and window displays can let passengers clearly know that their car is coming.
Buses also have a lot of information to share, and they can share their intentions with other vehicles on the road, vehicles at bus stops, and existing passengers on the bus, such as details of the next stop on the route, or points on the rear windshield Bright stop sign. Transparent window display may also become an important communication channel to convey weather warnings and other emergency notifications.
In addition to sharing travel and intent information, both buses and taxis can display dynamic advertisements, which are easier to change than static displays that use car windows as a medium. These new-generation advertising displays are not only easy to program, but can also increase revenue generation by using the vehicle’s GPS data to deliver more ads to people in a specific area, which can benefit new passengers sharing a designated vehicle. Advertisements can also be placed in the car to create more sources of income by placing tourist information and infotainment programs on taxis, hotels and airport shuttles.
And the fact is that robot taxis and automated buses are not far from us. Once driverless vehicles are on the road, we must expand the language that can convey intent between drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to maintain optimal traffic flow and safety. Transparent window displays provide a powerful, non-intrusive way to enhance the performance of today’s vehicles and enable future vehicles to convey intent-even when the vehicle is unmanned.
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