Automotive

Jaguar's "pod projection" tech signals driverless cars' intentions

Jaguar's "pod projection" tec...
The light bars fan out to the left or right to indicate the start of turns in either direction
The light bars fan out to the left or right to indicate the start of turns in either direction
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The compressed light bars in front of this PodZero indicate that it's coming to a stop
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The compressed light bars in front of this PodZero indicate that it's coming to a stop
The light bars fan out to the left or right to indicate the start of turns in either direction
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The light bars fan out to the left or right to indicate the start of turns in either direction

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.

The compressed light bars in front of this PodZero indicate that it's coming to a stop
The compressed light bars in front of this PodZero indicate that it's coming to a stop

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.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

2 comments
Joshua Tulberg
Well done.
paul314
Bigger gaps for acceleration and smaller for slow movement seems non-intuitive for me. It might appear to make sense from a UI point of view, but closer spacing means more intense effect, while wider spacing means less intense effect just when you want pedestrians to be paying more attention and being more concerned. Maybe there should be something like a flashing bar where the vehicle intends to be in some number of seconds.