Jaguar Land Rover unveiled a brand new concept in its quest for autonomous vehicles. The tech involved big googly eyes at the front of the vehicle which could look straight at you. (Don't worry, in a very non-threatening way). And now, Jaguar is taking it a step further to bring greater safety to its self-driving pods - a whole new language that these vehicles will be able to use to communicate with pedestrians.
Seems like Jaguar is paying attention to very little details that matter big, such as understanding and combating motion sickness and noise from electric cars to protect pedestrians. Now, JLR is developing a simple method that driverless cars can use to communicate with pedestrians to let out details like where they're stopping or turning.
Nope, Jaguar cars will not talk in an alien-sounding language. It won't be letters or numbers, but light. A series of light bars will be projected on the ground to communicate. The amount of space between each car gradually shrinks as the car brakes, and it expands again as it starts accelerating. The bars fan out left or right as the car prepares to turn in either direction. These signals are easy to understand anywhere in the world.
Jaguar stresses this technology remains experimental. “The trials are about understanding how much information a self-driving vehicle should share with a pedestrian to gain their trust. Just like any new technology, humans have to learn to trust it, and when it comes to autonomous vehicles, pedestrians must have confidence they can cross the road safely,” explained Pete Bennett, the research manager of the firm’s future mobility division.
It is still a long, long time before self-driving cars are used around the world without human supervision. But then, to think of it. There was a time in history when the concept of cars alone was far-fetched.
So, by the time autonomous cars do learn to deal with it all, Jaguar wants to be prepared with an established line of communication between its cars and pedestrians. Jaguar, in fact, is not the only one to be working on this. The likes of Volvo and Ford are working on communication systems of their own as well.