The future of self-driving cars are already upon us, so Ford decided to text the next phase in autonomous technology, to learn how these vehicles communicate with pedestrians. Ford worked with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to explore this new development and see how pedestrians on campus reacted to a vehicle that appeared to be driving itself.
The idea behind testing the self-driving autonomous technology is not only to see how pedestrians react but also for the self-driving vehicle to communicate their intent to pedestrians, human drivers and bicyclists in an effort to create a standard visual language that people can easily understand.
To develop a way for self-driving vehicles to communicate is essential since cues like hand waves or head nods between human drivers and pedestrians will not necessarily factor into autonomous driving scenarios. As part of Ford’s efforts to ensure autonomous vehicles can safely share the road with humans, the joint research project set out to investigate the most effective means for the vehicle to communicate.
Have a look at the video to see more about the self-driving autonomous research and to see how silly the guy looks in a car-seat-outfit!!