Sunday, December 10, 2017

IIWK: Two For The Road

Sympathetic Blinkers

Don't you hate it when the cars ahead of you in traffic are slowing and stopping but you can't see any reason why? Especially if, when you get closer to the point of incident, and you learn it's just someone who needed to turn?

Normal turn signals (at least, around these here parts) flash on and off in a regular rhythm; hazard lights do the same. With that in mind, there's room for a flashing pattern to indicate to the cars behind you what's going on.

I'm not suggesting anything so complex as Morse coded flashing rhythms that draw drivers' attentions away from the road, but something simple, like a two close, short flashes followed by a long pause between them, just enough to say, "Someone is signaling in this direction ahead."

With the smartness that our cars are getting, it's no great programming for your car to detect how the car in front of you is signaling, and seems reasonable enough to take that information and pass it further back down the line.

Oh, somebody ahead is trying to turn left (across oncoming traffic), that's why there's a holdup. Easy-peasy.

De/Synchronized Blinkers

There's a lot that could be said about synchronizing blinkers, tuning them to go at the same rate as the car in front of you, or setting them to go with the beat of your music, or variations thereof, but I think the last one is a bad idea.

There's enough problem with people leaving their turn signals on absent-mindedly, even without an internal alert that is in time with whatever music you're listening to. But if your car could detect the rhythm of your music (and the volume too), then it could just as easily time the clicks or dings or whatever the sound is to fall out of beat. The irregularity caused by the intermittent sound would probably be enough to annoy you to turn off the turn signal when you don't need it anymore.

Just as long as it doesn't frustrate audiophiles enough that they stop using their turn signals altogether.