Credits : Axalta
Developments in fully autonomous mobility are bringing self-driving vehicle technology closer than ever to becoming a reality. The operation of autonomous vehicles will rely heavily on detection technology, helping cars’ systems navigate and interact with the environment around them.
It is with these systems – Lidar and Radar – in mind that Axalta has formulated its ElectroLight colour, citing the product as its global automotive colour of the year for 2021.
Hadi Awada, a senior vice president at Axalta, said: “Offering innovative products that are ahead of the curve is what we live and breathe every day at Axalta.”
“ElectroLight is another step toward illuminating a path for a green future for all type of vehicles, including autonomous vehicles. Formulated with mobility-sensing technology, ElectroLight combines a passion for individualisation with coating science into a functional, expressive and dynamic colour.”
The new product has a yellow-green hue formulated with reflective properties making it highly visible to Lidar (light detection and ranging) systems, while its layer structure and pigment content are easily transmissible by Radar (radio detection and ranging) systems.
While Axalta's 2020 Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report shows that white remains the most popular automotive colour with customers globally, interest is growing in more personalised looks. Axalta reports that green hues have influenced both blue and yellow colour palettes within today's vehicle market trends, with eco-centric themes gaining prominence.
Lidar systems, for example, use a laser in the near-infrared spectrum (905nm or 1550nm) that is not easily reflected by dark colours. Without effective laser reflection, the system sensors will find it harder to accurately detect other vehicles. It seems inevitable that any switch to autonomous vehicle technology will replace the neutral colours that today’s consumers favour with more sensor-friendly hues.
“Our 2021 colour evokes sustainability, happiness and safety. ElectroLight is at the forefront of today's colour trends, while anticipating emerging technology advances,” said Nancy Lockhart, global product manager of colour at Axalta.
“Consumers are looking for a breakout colour and ElectroLight manifests this, while bringing a progressive approach to automotive styling and design.”