Jaguar Land Rover develops “trustworthy” autonomous cars

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Jaguar Land Rover hopes to instil confidence in autonomous vehicles with a system which projects their intended movements onto the road

Jaguar Land Rover has developed a system that projects an autonomous vehicle’s direction of travel onto the road, informing other road users of its intentions. The system is being built as part of a research project into how people can develop their trust in autonomous vehicles.

The new technology is being trialled on a fleet of autonomous pods (supplied by Aurrigo). It works by beaming a series of “light-bar” projections onto the road, with the gaps between the light-bars being used to express the pods’ intended actions.

For example, the gaps between the light bars narrow as the autonomous pods decelerate, closing to a single beam when stopped. The light bars widen again as the pods accelerate, and fan out to either the left or right when the pods are cornering.

Trials were conducted last year by a team of engineers and cognitive psychologists, working at Jaguar Land Rover’s “Future Mobility” division. The research was in response to a recent study into the perception of driverless cars, which revealed 41 percent of drivers and pedestrians were worried about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles.

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