Sunday, March 18, 2018

Look Forward To Your Pedestrian License Test

Gonna have to learn a new language to earn one.

Uber thinks it may have arrived at a solution. In a recent patent application, the ride-hailing giant proposes wrapping its self-driving cars in flashing signs to effectively communicate messages to pedestrians and others around it. The illustration accompanying the application is pretty wild: flashing arrows would appear on the side-view mirrors, a projector would display a virtual crosswalk in front of the car, and a “virtual driver” would pop up in the windshield to point pedestrians in the right direction. In essence, the car would need to be lit up like the Las Vegas Strip in order to make up for the absence of a human behind the wheel.

“In the real world, when there’s a human driver, they’re usually not shouting out the window, ‘Hey I’m slowing down now,’” says Sean Chin, a product designer at Uber’s Advanced Technology Group, which oversees its autonomous vehicle program. “There are subtle things you can do, like a head nod or flashing lights. And while we don’t have final implementation, what we’re considering is what is a new language we can create to give people that information.”