Illuminated Vehicle Logos - Investigation on Potential Distraction and Their Influence on Road Safety

Jonas Kobbert, Michael Hamm, Christian Hinterwaelder, John D. Bullough

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The current development of automotive lighting strives towards more and more lighting installations on vehicles. Additionally, to that, manufacturers start animating these lighting installations as coming home or leaving home greetings from the car to the driver. In a previous paper we have shown, that these additional animations are in fact not distracting to other road users and when used correctly, e.g. in a sequential turn indicator, can be beneficial to the overall traffic safety. This study then aims to investigate the potential influence of illuminated logos on road safety. European lawmakers forbid the use of illuminated advertisements on vehicles to minimize the danger of distraction for other road users and thereby negatively influencing traffic safety. As of now, active illumination of the manufacturer's logo is considered an advertisement. For this, a test vehicle was setup with two high luminance monitors, one at the front, one at the back, capable of producing 4000 cd/m2. With this, it was possible to efficiently vary size, form and illuminance between the logos to find a suitable range for illuminated logos. This vehicle with an illuminated logo at front and back was driven past each test subject, and their attention and distraction was measured. Additionally, a questionnaire was answered after the study to find the test subject's objective opinions and evaluations of the illuminated logos. The results for gaze tracking show no significant differences in fixations between an illuminated logo and currently allowed light signatures. Showing an actual advertisement with different colors however, led to a significant increase in the number of fixations on the passing vehicle as well as an increase on the gaze duration on the passing vehicle. Even clearer than the objective results is the subjective evaluation. Here the light signatures with the illuminated logos were not only rated as non-distracting and were not perceived as advertisements but were also found to be more pleasing to the subjects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAE Technical Papers
Issue number2022
StatePublished - 29 Mar 2022
EventSAE 2022 Annual World Congress Experience, WCX 2022 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 5 Apr 20227 Apr 2022


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