Vehicle: Car: Communication: Turn Signal
Steering-Calibrated Automatic Turn Indicators   (+1, -8)  [vote for, against]

How many times have people been cut off by another car swooping in front of them without any activity in the turn indicators.

(Yeah, yeah, I know I do it too! I'm sorry alright!)

What we need is a row of indicators on either side on the rear of the car... say four, looking kinda like this :

o o o o [ Regn Plate ] o o o o

If the driver of the vehicle turns his steering a wee bit, then ONLY ONE of the four lights blinks on the corresponding side. If he turns it a bit more... then two come on. Basically the more he turns his wheel, the more lights come on; thus giving the people behind a fair idea of what the shmuck up front is trying to do and allowing them to react that little bit quicker.
-- joker_of_the_deck, Sep 05 2002

Since GM (actually Delphi, a former GM subsid) has mastered and will shortly be actively marketing "Quadrasteer" on GMC Denali trucks it doesn't seem that this would be a difficult option to add on.
-- jurist, Sep 05 2002

We've had all this before. A major road with bends does not require signals, but a minor road branching off of it in a straight line does. Nothing of this sort will ever work.
-- angel, Sep 05 2002

While the idea is well meant, I agree with Angel that this is actually a Driver Training issue.
-- 8th of 7, Sep 05 2002

Mirror, signal, brake, manoeuvre.

That is how it supposed to be done. Indicators are used to indicate an *intention* to turn or change lane. NOT as a signal during a turn or as an afterthought.

A graduated indicator might be an idea worth half-baking, but anything automatic is redundant... there is a perfectly good switch that can be used to indicate. If only people were to use it more often.
-- Jinbish, Sep 05 2002

Nonsense, you critics. You just need to ensure the car actually turns 5 seconds after the steering wheel is rotated and the indicators come on. Plenty of time for other drivers to see your intentions. Also, an excellent test of skill, luck and bravery.
-- pottedstu, Sep 05 2002

What [angel], [Jinbish] and [mind-bender] said. A similar theoretical problem exists with ensuring your headlights are pointing where the road goes rather than where your car is pointing.
-- PeterSilly, Sep 05 2002

Yeah right, Pottedstu, like that would work. Maybe we could arrange for cars to brake 5 seconds after the brake lights come on too.
-- TwoSheds, Sep 05 2002

So, everyone hates the idea, but no one has voted against it? I think we can fix that...
-- DrCurry, Sep 05 2002

Having picked this up on a random trawl, I'd like to revive it.

Rather than having automatic indicators that indicate what you ARE doing, what we need is automatic indicators that indicate what you're GOING TO do.

Obviously the car can only know this if you tell it. Well, we can FORCE you to tell it, by requiring that you steer ahead of time. All your actions only operate the steering a few moments after you turn the steering wheel. If you don't steer before the bend, you don't go round it...
-- Cosh i Pi, Apr 12 2007

I think the indicators should come on after you *haven't* turned in quite a while, because then you are more likely to turn soon.
-- phundug, Apr 12 2007

// If you don't steer before the bend, you don't go round it...

That's been argued down already... What if, instead, you have to signal in order for the steering wheel to allow you to turn at a junction. If you leave it too late, you have to slow down more before the steering wheel allows you to turn it beyond a certain amount. You could connect the system to GPS so that it can tell whether you are just following the road or turning off. Turning the steering wheel still directly controls the car, _if_ it lets you turn it.

The idea is to re-educate the driver rather than to predict their actions.
-- TheLightsAreOnBut, Apr 12 2007

[TheLightsAreOnBut] Ah, so it has. Didn't see that. Sorry.

Like your new suggestion. Wonderfully fail-safe! (Reminiscent of a Segway - or for that matter an ABS - in this respect.)
-- Cosh i Pi, Apr 13 2007

random, halfbakery