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The Accelerolight

Short description (max. 250 characters)
I propose an additional light signal at the rear of a car: The Accelerolight. It works like a break light but glows green as soon as the car accelerates.

Key benefits (max. 250 characters)
- reduced energy consumption since more information allows for a smoother driving style
- less accidents due to a better understanding of the intention of other drivers
- constant reminder of the importance of the driving style

Detailed description (max. 500 words)
The energy consumption of a car depends heavily on the driving style. Since driving at a constant and reasonable velocity is the optimal strategy, unnecessary slowdowns and subsequent accelerations have to be avoided. On a highway, the main cause for such breaking maneuvers are other cars.

If every driver had additional information on the current acceleration of other drivers it would be easier to anticipate their intention and a smoother and therefore more energy efficient driving style would be possible.

One example for such a situation is a driver who wants to join from the acceleration lane. It's sometimes hard to see if he tries to accelerate to cut in in front of me or just wants to let me pass.
Another situation is approaching a car that drives a bit slower. Without knowing its acceleration, the approaching driver would have to slow down. But if he knew that the car was accelerating, she could keep her velocity steady without wasting energy.

I therefore propose an additional light signal at the rear of a car: The Accelerolight. It will visualize the current acceleration of the car with a green light.
One possible implementation is shown in the image. To make it distinguishable from the breaking lights, it differs in color and shape, so that even persons with a red-green colour blindness won't get confused. The LED-bar fills from left to right depending on the current acceleration.

One of the advantages of this idea is it's price. The velocity can be directly read from one of the car's internal BUSes and since computing the acceleration from these values is very easy, there is no need for an additional control box. On the hardware side, only the LED-Array and a small piece of wire so that this system is cheaper than two litres of gas.

An additional value is the constant reminder of the importance of a smooth driving style. Finally it also increases safety on the roads. Less misintrepreted maneuvers also means less accidents.

What do you think about this idea? It won't change the world but the cost of this new light would be amortized after the next three stops at the service station.

Image: Original from Matthew Hine, Licence: CC BY 2.0

automobile, resource efficiency, safety, traffic, transport



Status: in discussion

155 times viewed

7 Comment(s)

Number: 000078

submitted: 05.07.2012