Perhaps quite understandably, many pedestrians still don't trust self-driving cars to know that they're there. Jaguar Land Rover has developed what could be at least a partial solution to that problem, in the form of projected light bars that announce what the automobile is about to do.

The technology was recently tested at an indoor simulated city street in Coventry, UK, using autonomous PodZero electric vehicles developed by British firm Aurrigo. Each of the pods projected a series of horizontally-stacked light bars onto the road surface in front of itself.

When the vehicle was starting to accelerate, the gaps between the bars would widen. Those gaps would likewise shrink as the pod began braking, while they would fan out to the left or right to indicate the start of turns in either direction.

A team of engineers, working with cognitive psychologists, assessed how the system affected the trust levels of pedestrians who were crossing the street in front of the pods. Jaguar Land Rover has yet to share its findings on the technology.

Last year, as part of the same program, the company equipped the pods with human-like electronic eyes. The idea was that pedestrians could make eye contact with these, ensuring that they had been seen by the vehicle.

View gallery - 2 images