JLR Develops Light Systems for Safer Autonomous Vehicles
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JLR Develops Light Systems for Safer Autonomous Vehicles

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How about a vehicle that tells other road users what it will be doing next? Jaguar Land Rover has developed an intelligent technology system that beams a series of projections onto the road to show the future intentions of the vehicle. The projections depict the direction of travel on the road ahead of self-driving vehicles so as to make them trust the autonomous technologies, stated the company.

JLR has tested the system on its autonomous pods called Aurrigo that emits series of lines or bars that tend to adjust according to vehicle movement. The gap between the lines extends and reduces as the pod  prepares to accelerate or apply brakes respectively before fully compressing at a stop. The bars fan out left or right to indicate the direction of travel upon approaching a turn. In the future, the projections could even be used to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians, the company noted.

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Studies have shown that 41 percent of drivers and pedestrians are worried about sharing the road with autonomous vehicles. Thus, the team of advanced engineers at Jaguar Land Rover’s Future Mobility division is also supported by cognitive psychologists to make the ecosystem more robust. The innovative system was tested on a fabricated street scene at a Coventry facility with engineers recording trust levels reported by pedestrians both with and without projections. The trust trial programme was conducted as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s government-supported UK Autodrive project and also included fitting of 'virtual eyes' to the intelligent pods in 2018 to see if making eye contact improved trust in the technology.

The trials are about understanding how much information a self-driving vehicle should share with a pedestrian to gain their trust. Just like any new technology, humans have to learn to trust it, and, pedestrians must have confidence sharing roads with autonomous vehicles, said Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager, JLR.

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