Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled an intelligent lighting system which is designed to inform other road users about the intentions of autonomous vehicles.
Created as part of a project to improve trust in autonomous vehicles, the intelligent lighting system has been installed on autonomous pods developed by Aurrigo. The system projects a series of five lines onto the ground to show pedestrians what the autonomous vehicle is planning to do next.
As JLR explained, the gaps between the lines indicate the status of the vehicle. When stopped, all five lines are compressed to show the vehicle will remain stationary. When the pod plans to accelerate, the spacing between the lines increases to indicate the vehicle intends to move forward.
One of more unique features about the intelligent lighting system is its ability to indicate upcoming turns. When the vehicle approaches a turn, the lines will “fan out left or right to indicate the direction of travel.”
According to JLR, the company’s Future Mobility division worked with cognitive psychologists to develop ways to improve trust in autonomous vehicles as studies have shown 41 percent of drivers and pedestrians are worried about sharing the road with self-driving cars. As a result, they came up with the intelligent lighting system and tested it out a mock city street.
As part of the test, engineers asked pedestrians to report their level of trust in autonomous vehicles with and without the projections of the intelligent lighting system. The company didn’t mention the results of the test, but it’s probably safe to assume pedestrians felt safer when the vehicle indicated its intentions.
According to JLR’s Future Mobility research manager Pete Bennett, “Just like any new technology, humans have to learn to trust it, and when it comes to autonomous vehicles, pedestrians must have confidence they can cross the road safely. This pioneering research is forming the basis of ongoing development into how self-driving cars will interact with people in the future.”