Jaguar Land Rover’s self-driving pod gets huge googly eyes: Company turns to Psychologists for help

Jaguar Land Rover is using help from psychologists to gain people's trust for self-driving cars. Using big virtual eyes is the means to communicate with pedestrians.

By:Updated: October 16, 2018 1:27:52 PM


Self-driving pod

Jaguar Land Rover is working on implementing on what the company calls it ‘Driverless pod with eyes’ which will either completely freak you out or put a good smile on the face. The small pod which is likely to be the future of mobility gets actual virtual eyes and the British marque has a very good reason for creating these eyes.

Also Read: Jaguar Land Rover sends self-driving Range Rover on busy public roads & it came back without a scratch

Using various tools, the company using various virtual and simulated street scenarios is trying to analyse how much information is actually required for self-driving vehicles to share with other road users including pedestrians to gain the trust of the people on this new technology.

Jaguar Land Rover says that over 63% of road users have safety concerns about crossing the street with an autonomous vehicle approaching. With Uber’s self-driving crashing into a pedestrian earlier this year, there have been more concerns about self-driving cars. So the company now aims to gain people’s trust and also has started taking help from psychologists. In the development of the JLR’s autonomous car project, it has asked a team of psychologists to learn about how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology. JLR calls this as trust trials as a part of government-funded U.K Autodrive project.

Now addressing the pad’s big googly eyes. Researchers and psychologists tested on a simulated street in Coventry, England to understand to what extent humans can be reassured by a car that it is communicating with them. The LED eyes look straight at he humans to inform them that the vehicle’s system including sensors have spotted them reassuring the pedestrian that the self-driving pod will respond as it is supposed to and then it slows down to let them cross the street.

A report on Digital Trends, Pete Bennett, future mobility research manager, JLR said, “It’s second-nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road.” While the company has not confirmed how helpful are these big virtual eyes but it is certainly the right step to gain trust.

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