New Colours for Autonomous Driving: An Evaluation of Chromaticities for the External Lighting Equipment of Autonomous Vehicles

Annette Werner


Colour is an important medium of non-verbal communication in nature as well as in human  
civilisation. Colour signals are prominent in road-, railway- and air-traffic and lighting/
light-signalling on vehicles is carefully regulated by international institutions (UNECE,  
SAE). The introduction of AI and autonomous mobility requires the identification of new  
colour regions for the labelling of autonomous vehicles (AVs). The present study evaluates  
colour regions for their suitability to that respect: Daimler proposal Turquoise, Selective  
Yellow, Mint-Green and Purple/Magenta. The evaluation takes into account physiological  
and psychological factors such as human chromatic sensitivity, colour vision deficiencies,  
attractiveness and expected uniqueness. The evaluation concludes that, overall, Turquoise  
receives higher ratings in most criteria than Selective Yellow, Mint-Green, and Purple/
Magenta: Turquoise is therefore rated as the colour best suited for the identification of  
autonomous cars and human – automobile communication. A recommendation is given  
to adjust the chromaticities of the proposed Turquoise in order to optimise discrimination  
from standard daylight D65.


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