Here’s what the new turquoise headlights mean for cars

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The first cars with turquoise front and rear lights are starting to roll off the production lines. But what is the purpose of this new colour?

Until now, rear lights on cars have tended to be red. But that could change and turquoise-coloured lights could make their appearance. Mercedes has received permission from the State of California to use turquoise lighting on some of its cars for the next two years.

Which cars in particular? For so-called “autonomous” cars, i.e. vehicles equipped with technologies that enable them to navigate and move around without human intervention, using sensors, algorithms and sometimes artificial intelligence to interpret the road environment. On these vehicles, when the steering wheel is not being operated by a person, the new turquoise lighting comes on at the rear of the car. This warns vehicles following an autonomous vehicle that it is not being steered by a human being, so they can take precautionary measures. The turquoise colour also appears on the front of the car, not just the rear lights.

Mercedes has told the TopGear website that the brand is keen to introduce turquoise headlights and taillights in Europe and even the rest of the world. In the US state of Nevada, even production cars can already have this type of special lighting when Drive Pilot is activated.

However, the brand explains that the rules in Europe do not yet allow the introduction of such lighting. However, Mercedes is trying to explain to the European Union the advantages of turquoise lighting for autonomous cars. In particular, the manufacturer is curious to see the interaction with other road users when they know that a car is driving autonomously. This also helps police officers: if someone is busy doing something else behind the wheel, an officer can see if the car is paying attention. What’s more, the introduction of distinctive lighting would help the acceptance of autonomous cars, Mercedes believes.

MM

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