Peter Gold, the man behind the Universal Window Moulding and inventor of visual vehicle door communication systems, continues his mission to save lives with his newest invention, the Vehicle Door Pillar Light.
There is no shortage of bridges named after local law enforcement officers killed performing traffic stops on those narrow and oftentimes poorly-lit stretches of roadway. The same can be said of numerous highways throughout the United States. According to Gold, 90% of vehicle doors don’t have any added visual means to help them be seen at night.
“So, when a police officer stops on an interstate or highway and they open that door, the whole door is black,” Gold says. “The door and the cop can’t be seen.”
Thankfully, even the simplest ideas are patentable by individuals in the U.S. so long as those ideas are “unique and novel” Gold says.
“We’re now in a world of prolific invention,” Gold says. “When I got my first patent, it was 4 million and something. Now the patent numbers are up to more than 10 million within 20 years. People are inventing like crazy today and you can see it everywhere. It’s all over the place.”
One area historically lacking innovation at a major manufacturer level, however, has been visual door communication systems. According to Gold, New York City and its 30,000-plus fleet vehicles experience more than 1,000 open-vehicle door collisions each year. For too long, open vehicle doors and their windows have lacked the means to allow passing bicyclists and motorists to see them at night.
That’s why Gold has spent decades providing solutions to the auto industry in that area, saying that he is for “saving lives.” Those solutions include the InView Vehicle Trim and now the Vehicle Door Pillar Light, just to name a few.
When driving at night, the more communication between a vehicle and a motorist, the better. That means providing more time to prevent an accident, which in this case means illuminating not only a vehicle’s door and glass but the people and spaces in front.
“An open door provides no visual communication,” Gold says. “What I did was put a light in the pillar post so that when you open the door it automatically illuminates the open vehicle door and the people outside the vehicle, too. Since it lights up the people, it also lights up the street.”
The pillar light also includes a switch so motorists can deactivate it during the day.
Looking ahead, and noting that vehicle glass systems are the least expensive part of a motor vehicle, Gold expects big things for the future of industry innovation. He says the time is right to attack glass systems in a “new and different way.”
“The auto glass industry has to be more independent of vehicle manufacturers and provide new knowledge to vehicle manufacturers,” Gold says. “The survival of private transportation is dependent on the vehicle utility value that can be provided in cost reductions and safety. The end result is we can now incorporate vehicle glass systems as in the past to effectively go even further. They’ve only scratched the surface.”