How to make self-driving cars feel safe
Originally posted by Alex Rae @ drive.com.au
The British brand has been undertaking research on how to change the perception that self-driving vehicles are not safe after finding that 68 per cent of pedestrians and cyclists don’t trust autonomous vehicle technology.
It follows a study conducted in the US earlier this year that discovered only 28 per cent of drivers feel safe sharing the road with driverless cars.
But JLR says it has a solution, sticking a robotic face on its Aurrigo shuttle modules to check out pedestrians and acknowledge their presence.
Consulting with psycologists and engineers, the team put a pair of eyes on one of the driverless vehicles and simulated a street scene with over 500 pedestrian volunteers. When the car came to a stop at a crossing the cartoon-looking eyes would glance over at the person to signal it had acknowledged them and would wait until the pedestrian had crossed the road.
The idea being that a digital face can somewhat replicate the normal human interaction which would occur.
Perhaps a little creepy in appearance for now, Jaguar says the idea could go on to bridge some of the distrust the public has with autonomous vehicle technology, though it hasn’t said if the trials have been successful or if the eye-ball technology will go into production.
“It's second-nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road. Understanding how this translates in tomorrow's more automated world is important.,” said JLR future mobility research manager Pete Bennett.
"We want to know if it is beneficial to provide humans with information about a vehicle's intentions or whether simply letting a pedestrian know it has been recognised is enough to improve confidence."