Currently reading: New Skoda grille gives pedestrians green light to cross road
LED screen replaces grille on electric SUV in trial to improve road safety

An LED screen that communicates with pedestrians is being trialled by Skoda in a bid to increase safety.

Replacing the electric Skoda Enyaq IV’s Crystal Face grille, the screen strip flashes green with arrows when it is safe to cross, and red with a cross when, in extreme situations, it is not. An orange triangle is used to warn pedestrians that the car is about to begin moving again.

The system works automatically and without any driver intervention – for example, when the car approaches a pedestrian crossing to inform those waiting to cross in advance that the car has spotted them and it is safe to go.

Skoda says a car approaching the crossing that is unable to stop – for a variety of reasons – can send out a clear signal to pedestrians not to cross. The driver won't be able to control what is displayed on the screen, Skoda suggests.

The chosen symbols are being used in the trial because they are “widely recognisable”, Skoda says, but the LED screen does allows for the creation of unique animations so it could be used for an array of other situations.

Skoda crossing led grille trial red stop

More than 16,000 pedestrians were injured in road traffic incidents in 2021 – equating to more than 300 per week – according to annual figures released by the Department for Transport.

Skoda said: “Technology like this could potentially help to reduce the number of overall pedestrian injuries on the road.” 

This new tech also comes in response to concerns addressed by changes to the UK’s Highway Code, which states that drivers should no longer signal pedestrians – either by flashing headlights or waving their hands, for example – so they can cross a road. This is because it could be mistaken by other road users, or put pedestrians in harm's way if other drivers are unaware they’re crossing.

Other revisions to the Highway Code in 2022 were made as part of a broader change with a new hierarchy for road users. This includes that drivers should now give way to pedestrians crossing, or waiting to cross, a road they are driving into or out of. Skoda says more vulnerable road users could benefit from the LED communications between cars and pedestrians at these points.

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The new technology is part of a wider trial within the Urban Mobility initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

Will Rimell

Will Rimell
Title: News editor

Will is a journalist with more than eight years experience in roles that range from news reporter to editor. He joined Autocar in 2022 as deputy news editor, moving from a local news background.

In his current role as news editor, Will’s focus is on setting Autocar's news agenda; he also manages Autocar Business and Haymarket's aftermarket publication CAT.

Writing is, of course, a big part of his role too. Stories come in many forms, from interviewing top executives, reporting from car launches, and unearthing exclusives.

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ReginaViviana 12 April 2023

I get paid more than $200 to $400 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this I have earned easily $30k from this without T having online working skills . Simply give it a shot on the accompanying site…

Here is I started.… w­w­w.j­o­b­s­r­e­v­e­n­u­e.c­o­m

martin_66 12 April 2023

We don't earn dollars in this country.  If you are going to scam us at least have the decency to get the little details right.

SuffolkProf 12 April 2023

Assuming its not 11 days late,  it's a trial.  That's fine, trials are a good thing to find out about ideas. 

But, it isn't going to get approval in the UK as it contradicts the highway code. It is not a response to the highway code - that is clear, the car's lights should not be used to indicate to a pedestrian that it is safe to cross.  This device would not know it is safe - another vehicle could be coming past or coming the other way.   

And, it will be hackable.  Just about any part of the electronics on cars can be changed by those with the appropriate connector and a piece of software.  

 

martin_66 12 April 2023

Is it the first of April?