Experimental Mercedes S-Class – Cooperative Car

The cooperative vehicle, based on an Mercedes-Benz S-Class, features 360-degree light signalling. Turquoise light strips in the windscreen, the radiator grille, the headlamps, the exterior mirrors and the lower area of the windows indicate to pedestrians and surrounding traffic that the vehicle is operating in autonomous mode. Lamps on the roof provide information about the next actions that the vehicle is going to perform. Slow flashing means that the vehicle is braking. A stationary light shows that the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode, regardless whether it is driving or at a standstill. The lights on the roof also follow the movements of people at the side of the road and in front of the vehicle to signal that the vehicle is aware of their presence. In doing so, the cooperative vehicle recreates the natural eye contact that would have taken place between the driver and pedestrians. Rapid flashing indicates that it is about to move off.

The cooperative S-Class also informs its surroundings that it is about to enter into operation while it is still at the side of the road. The light strips around the vehicle emit an appropriate light signal. The exterior mirrors fold out and first the rear of the vehicle lifts up followed by the front. These movements resemble a living thing that is waking up and stretching. People can understand this communication intuitively.

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