- Self-driving pods have large ‘virtual eyes’ to interact with other road users
- Intelligent pods make ‘eye contact’ with pedestrians to signal intent
- Engineers work with psychologists to understand human trust in self-driving vehicles
Jaguar Land Rover has enlisted the help of a team of cognitive psychologists to better understand how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology.
The company has fitted ‘virtual eyes’ to intelligent pods to understand how humans will trust self-driving vehicles, as research studies suggest that as many as 63% of pedestrians worry about how safe it will be to cross the road in the future.
The friendly-faced ‘eye pods’ have a vital job: helping work out how much information future self-driving cars should share with users or pedestrians to ensure that people trust the technology.
The pods seek out the pedestrian – appearing to ‘look’ directly at them – signalling to road users that it has identified them, and intends to take avoiding action.
The trials are part of a wider study exploring how future connected and autonomous vehicles can replicate human behaviour and reactions when driving.
“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,” Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said.
“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.”