Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Car lighting makeover impacts feel of safety and style

Date:
August 16, 2010
Source:
SAGE Publications UK
Summary:
Gone are the days of basic, glaring lights inside cars to help us find our seatbelts or scramble for a map. Taking cues from research in buildings and offices, today's car designers have started to incorporate gentle ambient interior lighting, potentially enhancing night driving safety as well is increasing the feel good factor about vehicle interiors, according to new research.

Gone are the days of basic, glaring lights inside cars to help us find our seatbelts or scramble for a map. Taking cues from research in buildings and offices, today's car designers have started to incorporate gentle ambient interior lighting, potentially enhancing night driving safety as well is increasing the feel good factor about vehicle interiors, according to research appearing in the journal Lighting Research and Technology published by SAGE.

Engineers based at BMW in Munich, Germany, led by Luca Caberletti, together with Christoph Schierz from the Lighting Engineering Group at Ilmenau University of Technology, also in Germany, decided to test different lighting set ups on drivers. The test took place in a driving simulation environment where 31 people 'drove' a real stationary vehicle on a virtual highway with the driving environment projected onto three screens around the front and sides of the car. The light levels on the simulated street were between 0.1 cd/mē and 1.5 cd/mē." The researchers tested twelve different lighting scenarios, with varying light colour, luminance and position.

In the last decade the number of light sources in car interiors has drastically increased, up to a current maximum of about 25 light emitting diodes (LEDs), although this is likely to rise further. Ambient lighting has become a staple of cars in the mid to high market ranges, and comes in a number of colours. Previous studies have shown that the uncomfortable and distracting glare from interior lights, that can present driver safety issues, is eliminated when luminance is kept under 0.1 cd/mē Other studies show that drivers are less distracted when they are in control of ambient lighting levels in the car.

In this study drivers were questioned on space perception, perceived interior quality and attractiveness, perceived safety, functionality and alertness. The drivers' emotional states were also measured before and after the simulations, using a questionnaire.

The researchers found that the driver's whole perception of the car interior is improved through the use of ambient lighting while driving. It intensifies space perception, enhances the perceived quality of materials and design, helps them find controls and with their orientation in the car, and makes them feel safer.

However, less is more when it comes to ambient lighting: a sprinkling of ambient lights can be just as effective as larger numbers in giving an impression of space and quality. In fact increasing the brightness does nothing to enhance impressions of the interior or help the driver, but rather leads to driver complaints of distraction from discomfort or glare. Drivers perceive blue lighting as brighter than orange or red, and colour does seem to influence emotional responses. The researchers suggest colour is important for "brand identity and design compliance." Beyond this, the test did not come up with conclusive results for the effects of ambient lighting on the driver's emotional state.

Importantly, ambient lighting did not influence the driver's performance (although this was restricted to staying within a lane in this test). The authors suggest that further studies should look at more interior lighting colours, as well as a range of different car interior materials (because the effect of light on shiny leather is very different from, say, matt fabric). They also want to further investigate the extent to which ambient lighting helps with secondary driving tasks, such as finding controls or using a SatNav device.

Another future direction is interior lighting that responds dynamically to inputs from the car, the environment and the passengers. "The advantages and problems arising from such systems, as well as their acceptance by the drivers, have still to be tested and verified," says Caberletti. "Nevertheless, they offer a new, interesting, emotional and much more coloured way of understanding and developing vehicle interior lighting."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications UK. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications UK. "Car lighting makeover impacts feel of safety and style." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816095613.htm>.
SAGE Publications UK. (2010, August 16). Car lighting makeover impacts feel of safety and style. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816095613.htm
SAGE Publications UK. "Car lighting makeover impacts feel of safety and style." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816095613.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) — Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) — A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) — Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins