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Design challenge

In the future, the number of interactions between people and autonomous vehicles will increase dramatically. This makes the importance of a new way of communication between people and vehicles important for a safe and orderly situation.

One of the ways to communicate in addition to the existing light signals on a vehicle is the use of digital wheels. In the current situation, these are only applied to concept vehicles, but in the future they can play a role in communication between people and vehicles.

Wheel signals

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Direction
Intention
Situation

By means of pre-programmed signals, a large number of traffic situations can be made clearer. By using the wheel signals to communicate with other road users, various situations can be made safer.

System integration

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Processing a wheellight system within the current standard size wheels means that there is no large space for the various components. To ensure that the system will always work without the use of wear-sensitive tow couplings, a system that uses an alternator has been chosen. This will charge a relatively small battery that is mounted low to keep the centre of gravity low. As a result, the light system will be stationary in relation to the vehicle.

Within the wheel there is also relatively simple technology including a wireless connection and a memory to store the various signals. This is mounted inside a weatherproof housing in the wheel.

Sensorbox integration

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In the current situation, it is not yet clear what the standard will be for autonomous city buses. There are a large number of start-ups with very different systems and designs. That is why it is important to develop a system that can be integrated as flexibly as possible.

 In order to meet this requirement, easy to integrate sensor boxes have been chosen, together with a central computer as the brain of the system. Wireless communication triggers the various signals in the wheels.

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