The cars of the near future are looking at the autonomous technology and companies, along with rolling out electric cars, have also started to look at their self- driving models of the future.
There are many essentials for a self- driving car, one of them being that the car should be able to communicate with the pedestrians.
Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler concept shows how a self-driving car will communicate with pedestrians and other bystanders while it operates and it is based on one simple principle- eye contact.
The German automaker on Monday announced that an ongoing research showed humans feel most comfortable with self-driving cars if the machine can make ‘eye contact’ with him or her.
Hence, the company developed a 360-degree camera system for a Mercedes S-Class sedan, which it calls the ‘Cooperative Car’. Jaguar Land Rover has also demonstrated a similar concept, but in a more interesting fashion.
The Daimler concept is aiming at imparting human- like features to the car, with turquoise light strips present in the windshield, grille, headlights, mirrors, and roof-mounted lamps to communicate with pedestrians. The roof-mounted lights follow pedestrians as they cross to create a human element to the self-driving car. The car ‘watches’ humans to acknowledge their presence and the lights flash in various patterns to tell the pedestrians that the car is either not in operation or driving autonomously.
Daimler also developed a way for the car to ‘wake up’. For example, if a passenger summons the self-driving car, the Mercedes S-Class wakes up by extending the mirrors, lifting the rear of the car, and then the front almost mimicking an animal waking up from a brief nap.
The company said all of these elements helped build trust between the research participants and the cars. Pedestrians can hence, communicate with the car and understand exactly what the car wants to do via the lights and subjects.
Daimler aims at implementing far more advanced signals and showed some of its future work with the Mercedes F015 and Vision Urbanetic concepts, which were unveiled in 2015 and 2018, respectively.
The F015 concept, uses the front grille as a form of communication, while the Vision Urbanetic includes ‘digital shadows’, which is basically the ability to display a pedestrian’s shadow on the car’s body as the 360-degree camera detects him or her.
Diamler is all set to start its first self-driving service in 2019 in Silicon Valley.