Jaguar Land Rover has developed a new lighting system for self-driving vehicles that projects the direction of travel onto the road so that other road users can know about what the vehicle is going to do next.
The intelligent technology is used to beam a series of projections onto the road to show the future intentions of the vehicle, like signalling its intention to stop or to turn left or right. The trials of the technology were held as part of research into how people can develop their trust in autonomous technology. In the future, the projections could even be used to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians.
These projections which included a series of bars or lines with adjustable spacing were tested on autonomous pods developed by Aurrigo. When the pod is preparing to brake, the gaps shorten and the space between the lines extends when the pod accelerates. Upon approaching a turn, the bars fan out left or right to indicate the direction of travel.
The trials were meticulously planned by a team of advanced engineers from Jaguar Land Rover’s Future Mobility division, who received the support of cognitive psychologists. The tests were held after studies showed that 41 percent of other road users are worried about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles.
The company’s innovative technology system was tested on a fabricated street scene at a Coventry facility and engineers recorded the trust levels that pedestrians reported both when the vehicles had the projections and when they didn’t have the projections.
The trust trial program also involved the use of “virtual eyes” to the intelligent pods last year to see if the “eye contact” would help to improve enhance trust in the technology. This trial was conducted as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s government-supported UK Autodrive project.
Commenting on the new technology, Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said that the trials are being held to learn how much information self-driving vehicles need to share with pedestrians to gain their trust. Trust is a key factor in the case of consumer acceptance of self-driving vehicles and pedestrians need to feel that they can cross the road safely when a self-driving vehicle is in front of them. Jaguar Land Rover’s pioneering research will serve as the basis for further studies on how self-driving cars will interact with people in the future.
For Jaguar Land Rover, safety is the main priority in the case of the self-driving vehicles that it is developing. The company’s goal is to become a key player in autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility. The trial of the new technology aligns well with the company’s long-term strategic goals of making vehicles safer and helping consumers to save time and to make mobility accessible for everyone.
The company has a similar focus when it comes to the development of the advanced driver assistant features that are seen in its current models including the Range Rover Velar. These features include Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Assist and Intelligent Speed Limiter.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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