Aug 28, 2018

The robot that watches as you cross the road

British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover is testing a robot that catches your eye as you cross the road. The self-driving pods, which feature large "Virtual eyes", are being trialled in Coventry to try to increase humans' trust in autonomous cars. An American Automobile Association study found that 63% of people would feel less safe if they had to share a road with a self-driving car. "As our relationship with self-driving technology increases, we need to ensure it is designed around human behaviours and needs," Jaguar Land Rover's future mobility research manager Pete Bennett told the BBC. "Our aim is to develop features that all road users are comfortable with." Jaguar Land Rover's cognitive psychologists and engineers analyse the pedestrians' behaviour, recording the "Trust levels" in each person before and after they encounter the autonomous pod on the road. The aim is to work out just what it would take to make pedestrians feel confident that a self-driving car would indeed notice them and stop if they crossed the road in front of it. The project is running trials of self-driving cars in Coventry and Milton Keynes to understand the technology and logistics required to introduce self-driving technology to the UK. Aurrigo's self-driving pods - without the large virtual eyes - will be driving around pedestrianised areas in Milton Keynes from August to October as part of a separate trial into self-driving technologies.

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