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Intelligent Turn Signal

While watching some fast cars on a multi-lane street from above today, one observation came up with repetition: Fast movers, that wanted to overtake slow movers (on the right line) almost never used their turn signal (blinker) to indicate their intention to move to the left lane and afterwards to move back to the right lane. Why is that and how could that be helped?

This is probably due to the current implementation of the turn signal lever and not just human laziness, since the current implementation is only optimized for slow speeds and a real change in attitude of more than 45° of the prior heading. You set the blinker, it stays on, until you moved the steering wheel to make your change and stops, once you turn it back to the original position (drive straight).

Now, when you are only changing lanes, you usually have not much steering-wheel rotation, so you'd have to manually set the turn signal and you'd also have to manually turn it off, after the maneuver. This makes it really uncomfortable to use at all.

A good solution/evolution might be to have some push/tip function, when you tip the turn signal shortly, it activates for a number of periods (i.e. 3 blink pulses) and goes off again automatically.

In this context you might also think about patents and “intellectual property”: This would be a nice evolution of the turn signal, to make traffic handling a little bit more convenient, but if it were patented and “protected” everybody would have to pay money, to use this new idea, so if you as a customer would want to have it in your car, it would cost extra, while the technical requirements and resources to implement this feature are not worth mentioning :) Still think patents make sense?


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