I can’t quite find whether this has reduced site accidents, and I do hope so, although a quick internet browse shows merely how it has exasperated some drivers.
Partly that’s because of the doctor thing: on the road, a green beacon is the sign of a medical professional who needs to let you know they’re in a hurry but can’t contravene traffic regulations. So a construction/ agricultural worker has to remember to disconnect the green beacon when their vehicle takes to the highway, in case you or I confuse an approaching Caterpillar MT875E with a Skoda Octavia estate, and in case they get fined for it. I suppose in the dark, on city streets, it could be a problem.
And some drivers just don’t like it: some vehicle’s systems are apparently quite sharp at working out whether a driver has just slipped the seatbelt behind them, but others are not.
To be honest, beyond having my curiosity satisfied, I don’t know or care enough to get particularly exercised either way, save for being annoyed that I didn’t notice the lights earlier. Too late, any rate, to seize the opportunity to open an Amazon seller account specialising in green beacons.
But all is not lost, following the discovery that Peugeot will introduce a blue light beneath the rear-view mirror of its electric cars, plug-in or otherwise, to signify that they’re being driven in electric mode.
This could be useful in showing regional legislators that cars are complying with zero-emissions zones, or for showing pure-EV drivers that you didn’t only pick a plug-in hybrid for the tax breaks.
The precise shade of the colour hasn’t yet been picked, because legislators are also working on having a light that’ll show when a car is being driven autonomously. (Although, if it’s that good at being driven autonomously, I’m not sure why it should need one.)
But the whole thing could become complicated: amber, green, blue, white and red already being the preserve of one set of lights or another. And if it’s raining, at night, when there are just loads of lights in your mirrors from everywhere, could the most important warning lights become less visible? When we’re all different, nobody is different. But there’s still time to open that online LED retailer, so all is not lost.
Peugeot 508 PHEV 2019 prototype review
Matt Prior: are robots intuitive enough to drive my car?
Intriguing fire-fighting vehicles of the world