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Helping Autonomous Vehicles Read Signs via Rainbow Tech

Recently published study elucidates the science behind microscale concave interfaces or MCI. These are explained to be structures reflecting light producing optical phenomena. These optical phenomena are characterised by their visual appeal as well as potential application.

The study puts forth key findings associated with how a retroreflective material works. Retroreflective material refers to a thin polymer microspheres composed film placed on the sticky part of a transparent tape. A white line shining on the thin film is reflected such that it results in concentric Rainbow rings created by the light. If the material is bombarded with a single-coloured laser such as red, blue or green in this case will generate a pattern of bright, and dark rings.

As a part of the study, infrared reflections were also examined to produce distinctive signals displaying concentric rings. Through the research, the team explains these effects in-depth. The patterns produced by the material were observed clearly on a visual camera as well as a LIDAR.

The application of this phenomena is anticipated to be efficiently useful in aiding autonomous vehicles in reading traffic signs. At present, autopilot systems address quite a few challenges when it comes to recognising traffic signs, particularly in real-world situations, said Gan. Gan works at the UB School of Engineering and Applied Science as a professor, and has led the synergistic study.Gan says that smart traffic signs made from the Rainbow-making tech could increase the umber of signals for future systems.

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