Autonomous Cars, industry, Motoring News, vehicle technology

JLR autopods out to make pals with pedestrians

  • System projects images onto the road
  • Pedestrians warned where vehicle going
  • Object is to gain pedestrians’ trust
THE POD IN ACTION: Friendly eyes size up the human waiting at the pedestrian crossing and comes to a halt. Image: Jaguar Land Rover
THE POD IN ACTION: Friendly eyes size up the human waiting at the pedestrian crossing and comes to a halt. Image: Jaguar Land Rover

PRETORIA, Gauteng –Jaguar Land Rover says there’s a possibility that it will introduce a system to project a self-driving vehicle’s direction of travel onto the road to inform other road-users.

”The intelligent technology,” JLR explained, ”beams a series of projections on the road to show its intentions – for example stopping or turning left or right – as part of research into how people can develop trust in autonomous technology.

”The projections could even be used to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians.”

LIGHTING THE WAY: Jaguar Land Rover intends to convey information to pedestrians about where its vehicles are going. Image: Jaguar Land Rover
LIGHTING THE WAY: Jaguar Land Rover intends to convey information to pedestrians about where its vehicles are going. Image: Jaguar Land Rover

These projections, tested on autonomous pods (see image) developed by Aurrigo, project a series of lines or bars with varying spacing.

ADJUSTABLE LIGHT BARS

The gaps shorten as the pod is preparing to brake before fully compressing when stopped.”

As the pod moves off and accelerates the line-spacing extends; approaching a turn the bars fan out left or right to indicate direction of travel.

”Trials were set up by a team of engineers at JLR’s Future Mobility division, JLR added, ”with support from cognitive psychologists after analysing a survey that showed 41% of drivers and pedestrians were worried about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles.”

INTELLIGENT PODS

The system was tested on an artificial street scene at a Coventry (central England) facility with engineers recording trust levels reported by pedestrians with and without projections.

The trust trial programme included adding ”virtual eyes’’ to the intelligent pods in 2018 to see if making eye contact improved trust – all part of a government-supported UK Autodrive project.

READ MORE JLR features on Carman’s Corner

Pete Bennett, Future Mobility research manager at Jaguar Land Rover, told The Corner in a media release: “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; pedestrians, when it comes to autonomous vehicles, must be confident that they can cross the road safely.

”The research is the basis for ongoing development into how future self-driving cars will interact with people.”

JLF says the trial is aligned with the brands’ long-term strategic goals: to make cars safer, free up people’s valuable time, and improve mobility for everybody.

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