Daimler Developing Communication Models for Self-Driving Cars, Pedestrians
UNITED STATES – According to an online news report from motorauthority.com, Daimler is developing models for communication between self-driving vehicles and pedestrians.*
Many pedestrian safety tips highlight the need to make eye contact with drivers before crossing into the road. But how does someone make eye contact with a self-driving car? Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler is working to do just that through development of various communication methods between autonomous vehicles and people.
Daimler recently revealed research that showed people felt safer when they had a way of knowing self-driving cars could “see” them. In response to these findings, the German automaker started developing 360-degree cameras for its Mercedes S-Class sedan that could provide visual cues to pedestrians. Daimler called the concept “Cooperative Car.”
With this technology, pedestrians will be able to see turquoise lights on a vehicle’s windshield, headlights, grille, mirrors, and rooftop. The lights will illuminate when a pedestrian has been sensed on the side of a road and will present patterns that follow the pedestrians as they cross the road. This way, pedestrians know the entire time that the car senses them, and it is not going to continue driving while they are walking in front of it.
Daimler sees the technology as a key way to build trust between members of the public and autonomous vehicles. Developers are aware that public trust declined significantly when a self-driving Uber vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian in March 2018. Since that accident, autonomous vehicle companies have been working to overcome public distrust of the technology. Perhaps injecting a little empathy in the form of colored lights will help in that mission.
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