Brake lights come on when you press the brake pedal. Why don’t turn signals activate when the steering wheel is turned significantly?
It might have been difficult to detect mechanically. But couldn’t computer sensors easily detect a significant turn of the wheels and activate turn signals?
Have any car manufacturers included automatic turn signals on their cars?
I’ve observed that one of the most ignored ignored traffic laws is the turn signal. Rarely do I see them used for lane changes. I see them used more often at intersection turns. Maybe 6 out of 10 cars?
I can see a situation where I’m driving such a car on a road that turns to the left, with a side road connecting with it on the left. And the fellow approaching me sees my left turn signal begin flashing. How does he interpret it?
Indeed. I believe Mercedes holds a patent on an early brake light activation system that will activate the brake lights before the driver even touches the brake pedal (based on the proximity and closing rate to the car in front and relying on radar info). I don’t know if this has been actually implemented into their cars, however.
Ok, I wasn’t sure what new whiz bang gadgets new cars have. I drive a 2000 and a 2014 van and they don’t have the new gadgets. Even my Ford E250 2014 van doesn’t have the fob to unlock and allow someone to start the car. I still have to use a key. A backup camera is the only modern gadget they included.
Smart Turn signals seemed like a new gadget that might be available.
I had a scary incident last week. Idiot didn’t signal. Five cars slamming their brakes. We all just barely avoided a pile up. I was the sixth car and had a little more braking time, but it was close; much too close for comfort.
But this is exactly what the self-driving cars will do. You will get in the car and say,
and it will send the request up to “the cloud”, and immediately start subtly altering the traffic flow on the freeway across town so that an opening will be just exactly there for your car when you get there, and it will know every turn on the route. As long as there are other manually driven cars, it will signal each turn exactly the right distance in advance. When the last live-human driver retires or is obsolescent, then signaling (that is, visual signaling with blinking lights anyway) will no longer be necessary.
ETA: If you say “Car! <somewhere>!”, the car will also know immediately if there is a road closure or other blockage (bridge out?), and gently say:
“I’m sorry, <your-name-here>, I’m afraid I can’t go there.”
It’s hard to tell visually if a car ahead of you suddenly slows down. Even after it starts to slow down, there is no strong visual cue to alert you. The car just gets bigger. Our eyes aren’t very sensitive to that. Which is why cars have brake lights.
When a car is already turning, it will move laterally. Our eyes are sensitive to this. Which is why an “I’m already turning” light is much less useful than the “I’m already slowing down” light. (In addition to all the other reasons already given.)