Earlier this year Barry Snyder, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Axalta, gave a presentation at the Autonomous Car Detroit Conference to more than 300 professionals in the field of autonomous driving, demonstrating the importance of paintwork as a key component of autonomous vehicles. For example, the reflectivity and the required permeability are the core elements that have to be resolved. Snyder explained that car colors must be reflective for vehicles to "see" each other reliably. Current light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems of autonomous vehicles perceive bright vehicles more easily due to their reflectivity. Although reflectivity plays a decisive role in the mutual perception of autonomous vehicles, paints must also be designed to enable interference-free reception and undisturbed transmission of laser light signals. Since sensors are coated, the coating formulations must be permeable to certain signals. Such paints would allow car manufacturers more freedom in the placement of sensors and fewer restrictions in the design of future vehicles. Ultimately, vehicle design is still a decisive factor in the purchase decision. Therefore, color formulas must provide the reflectivity and permeability required for autonomous driving while being attractive and durable. In addition, solutions should provide sufficient space for new colour tones and variations, as car buyers are looking for unique, brilliant colour tones.
Picture: The reflectivity plays a decisive role in the mutual perception of autonomous vehicles. In addition, coatings must enable interference-free reception and undisturbed transmission of laser light signals.