As the self-driving future nears, we’re testing the next phase in autonomous technology to learn how these vehicles can communicate with pedestrians. We worked with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to explore this new development, and see how pedestrians on campus reacted to a vehicle that appeared to be driving itself.via (ford)
image credit: WIRED
Ford and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are testing a Ford-designed method for self-driving vehicles to communicate their intent to pedestrians, human drivers and bicyclists in an effort to create a standard visual language people can easily understand.
Study simulates a self-driving vehicle using a “seat suit” to conceal the human driver to explore pedestrian reaction to external lighting signals that indicate when the vehicle is driving, yielding or accelerating from a stop.
Developing a way for self-driving vehicles to communicate is essential since cues like hand waves or head nods between human drivers and pedestrians will not necessarily factor in to autonomous driving scenarios.As part of Ford’s efforts to ensure autonomous vehicles can safely share the road with humans, the joint research project set out to investigate the most effective means for the vehicle to communicate.