Jaguar Land Rover has taken a step forward in the development of self-driving cars of the future as the company came up with a system that projects the direction of travel onto the road ahead, informing other road users what it intends to do next.
A series of projections are beamed onto the road to represent the autonomous vehicle’s future intentions. Jaguar Land Rover added that for the future, projections could even be used to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians.
Tested on autonomous pods developed by Aurrigo, the projections showcase a series of lines or bars with adjustable spacing. The gaps shorten as the pod is preparing to brake before fully compressing at a stop. As it accelerates again, the spacing between the lines extend. Upon approaching a turn, the bars fan out left or right to indicate the direction of travel.
Jaguar Land Rover’s Future Mobility division, supported by cognitive psychologists, set up trials after studies showed that 41 percent of drivers and pedestrians are worried about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. Tests were conducted on a fabricated street setting at a Coventry facility. Engineers recorded trust levels reported by pedestrians both with and without projection.
“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. This pioneering research is forming the basis of ongoing development into how self-driving cars will interact with people in the future,” said by Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover.