Connected vehicles will reduce traffic collisions, reduce road congestion, ease commuting, pave the way for autonomous vehicles, and reduce pollution. Hermes Optical Protection System (HOPS) combines LEDs, a digital projection system such as LCDs or micromirrors and a optical sensor into a vehicle light.
Placed in the headlights and tail lights, this system provides an inexpensive system for short-range, high speed communication and obstacle detection. The LEDs could be modulated at tens of millions of bits per second providing both traditional vehicle lighting and a secure communications system. The optical system would be immune to intentional or unintentional jamming; unlike RF -based systems would be relatively difficult for a hacker to monitor and enter.
The optical system could communicate with roadside infrastructure. It could communicate with stop lights, for example, giving the signaling more flexibility based on traffic. Rather than halting vehicles according to an outdated algorithm, the stop light could direct traffic based upon the vehicles present at the intersection. Such a capability would improve traffic flow, reduce transit times, and reduce pollution from idling engines. Communications with streetlights would provide the vehicle with up-to-the-minute local traffic conditions as well as help the autonomous vehicle navigate the immediate area.
With two cameras and structured light, the system will be able to measure the distance to an obstacle and determine its size and shape.
Employing the four vehicle lights provide redundancy. If lights were added to the side of the vehicle, a light barrier would encompass the vehicle providing knowledge of the area close to the vehicle. Such knowledge would aid in avoiding collisions or, if a collision, is unavoidable, activating on-board safety systems to protect the occupants.
Combining the systems and using systems for dual purposes reduces the cost of the combination as well as size, weight and power demands on the vehicle.
Integrated into vehicles HOPS will provide the connections needed to reduce traffic collisions, reduce pollution, ease traffic flow and lead to autonomous vehicles.