JLR Tests Directional Alerts for Autonomous Cars

January 24, 2019 at 7:11 AM

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd is developing a system that projects the intended direction of travel onto the road ahead of a self-driving vehicle to alert other road users.

The carmaker is testing the technology in autonomous pods in Coventry, England, as part of the government-funded Autodrive research initiative in the U.K.

The system uses a series of lines that are projected onto the road surface ahead of the vehicle. As the vehicle prepares to turn, the bars spread to the left or right to indicate the direction of travel. Gaps between the bars are reduced as the vehicle is preparing to brake and extend when the pod accelerates.

JLR researchers are measuring trust levels reported by pedestrians with and without projections. The goal of the system is to help other road users become more comfortable with interacting with self-driving vehicles.

Last year JLR outfitted the test pods with large “eyes” to let pedestrians know they’ve been recognized by the vehicle. The carmaker also is developing several driver-assist technologies, including some that are designed specifically for off-road applications.

In addition, Jaguar plans to supply as many as 20,000 I-Pace electric crossover vehicles to Alphabet Inc. for use in the company’s Waymo self-driving car fleet.