led-carWhen it comes to self-driving cars, I am quite sure that much more testing needs to be done, not to mention a whole lot of standardization being agreed upon before it is rolled out on a global scale. After all, machines are not 100% foolproof all the time, especially not when we hear about Google’s research team allowing their self-driving cars to actually break the legal speed limit. Driving around during the daytime on a bright and sunny day should not be a problem at all, but what happens when dusk falls? That gets a whole lot trickier, so is there something which can be done to help such vehicles out? Perhaps, and flashing LEDs could very well be the answer.

A system of flashing LEDs would see a series of rapid pulses of visible light being used to to relay information from one car to another. These LED flashes will be so short in their intervals, that we would not even be able to notice it in the first place. This allows self-driving cars to “inform” one another about the traffic conditions that is right up ahead, or perhaps an accident that has already happened, making the entire autonomous driving system all the more intelligent this way.

It is said that the required data rate so that such information can be sent from one car to another is low enough for a regular camera to work well with it, and existing cars which use LEDs now can relay such messages already. However, special equipment will need to be retrofitted so that the entire system will be a whole lot more robust.

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