DAYTON, OH --- RLP Engineering announced an enhancement to its existing Intelliturn smart turn signal system that now includes an automatic turn-on function.

Though the original Intelliturn provides computer-controlled turn signal shut-off, the new patent-pending enhancement makes turn signal use automatic with driver-in-the-loop technology, RLP Engineering said. Turn signals become appropriately used, improving vehicle safety and reducing the risk of a collision.

"Turn signal control has not improved in almost 70 years and now Intelliturn assists drivers of all skill levels with computer control for both smart shut-off and turn on," said Richard Ponziani, president of RLP Engineering. "It all comes down to better driver-to-driver communication. The intent is an accurate turn signal every time. The goal is collision avoidance. The bottom line outcome is improved vehicle safety." 

Proper usage of turn signals has always been important for the prevention of accidents. Additionally, the use of turn signals is not only courteous to other drivers, but it is also the law. Since turn signal use is solely left to the discretion of the driver, there are drivers who neglect to use turn signals when they should.

With this new Intelliturn enhancement, drivers who repeatedly neglect to use their turn signals will eventually receive a short display message reminding them to use turn signals in the future. As the driver improves his or her use of turn signals, the reminders will cease to be displayed.  Conversely, drivers who use turn signals most of the time will not receive a message. In fact, those drivers may never even realize that the reminder system is designed into the vehicle.

"Most drivers do indeed use turn signals prudently and will simply never receive a reminder message in the life of the vehicle and this is a very important aspect of the system. There's no intrusion whatsoever for nearly all drivers," said Ponziani. "But if you are a chronically neglectful turn signal user, the good news is you'll quickly develop better and safer turn signal usage habits." 

Intelliturn uses existing sensor components already on most vehicles today and integrated into vehicle networks and licensed at the OEM level. The traditional steering column trip mechanism can be eliminated with this system, reducing cost and part content, the company said. In most cases, the smart turn signal system adds little or no overall cost to most vehicles. The familiar turn signal lever remains in the same location for the driver, but ergonomics and performance are improved.

Intelliturn has received documented approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for use on cars and trucks sold in the U.S.

RLP Engineering is an automotive design consulting firm headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.