Autonomous Cars Will Need To Interact With Pedestrians: Here's How Page 2

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Nissan IDS concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Part of it’s simply being polite, rather than always following the exact traffic rule in a particular situation, and that’s a complex artificial-intelligence task. There are certain situations in city driving in which it’s rude not to let a pedestrian cross if you’re already coming to a stop, for example, while in other cases you're interrupting precious traffic flow. 

Intention broadcasting: Like a bus rollsign for cars

To get the word across regarding what the autonomous vehicle is going to do next, Nissan is looking at ways in which it can boldly do “intention broadcasting” from its autonomous cars.

In the IDS Concept from last week’s Tokyo Motor Show, an “interaction indicator”—a high beltline of light starting at the grille and headlights and beside the vehicle—changes color from blue to green, yellow, orange, and red, depending on the alert level at that moment.

Meanwhile, there’s a large text readout at the base of the windshield, facing outward, that tells those in front of the vehicle what the intent is, such as “after you.”

Be sure to watch the video back at the top of this piece for how it all works, and hope that autonomous cars, when they arrive, will be this communicative.

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