jaguar land rover has come up with a new concept technology in an effort to understand how humans will come to trust self-driving vehicles in the future. dubbed ‘virtual eyes’, driverless pods are fitted with cartoon-like, seemingly sad eyes, designed to interact with other road users and make eye contact with pedestrians to let them know the car is aware of them. the LED eyes work by following pedestrians as they cross the road.

jaguar land rover gives driverless cars 'virtual eyes' to signal awareness of pedestrians

images courtesy of jaguar land rover



appearing to ‘look’ directly at pedestrians signalling to road users that it had identified them, and intended to take avoiding action. the intelligent pods were used in a trial which saw them run autonomously on a fabricated street scene in coventry. the eyes have been devised by a team of engineers, working in jaguar land rover’s future mobility division. engineers recorded the levels of trust in the person crossing the road before and after the pod makes eye contact, to find out if it would generate sufficient confidence that virtual eyes would stop for them.

jaguar land rover gives driverless cars 'virtual eyes' to signal awareness of pedestrians



it’s second-nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road. understanding how this translates in tomorrow’s more automated world is important’, explained pete bennett, future mobility research manager at jaguar land rover. ‘we want to know if it is beneficial to provide humans with information about a vehicle’s intentions or whether simply letting a pedestrian know it has been recognised is enough to improve confidence.’

jaguar land rover gives driverless cars 'virtual eyes' to signal awareness of pedestrians

jaguar land rover gives driverless cars 'virtual eyes' to signal awareness of pedestrians

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