The navigating lasers of autonomous vehicles don’t enable detection of black cars and PPG Industries Inc., is engineering a paint that allows the near-infrared light emitted by lasers to pass through a dark car’s exterior layer and rebound off a reflective undercoat—making it visible to sensors.
PPG is also developing a bar code that can be applied to an autonomous vehicle in a color invisible to humans but that can be scanned by another vehicle, yielding information about make and model, as well as performance data such as braking distance. The technology also could be deployed on street signs and other road structures to help driverless vehicles navigate.
PPG and other companies see a lucrative opportunity in solving one of the most intractable problems of driverless technology—and a way to ensure demand for their products even as the number of cars on the road may dwindle.
Read the article at Bloomberg.