HomeAutonomous VehiclesMeet the smiling self-driving car that communicates with pedestrians

Meet the smiling self-driving car that communicates with pedestrians

A common language is required for how self-driving cars communicate with pedestrians, says Semcon, which has developed a smiling self-driving car technology.

While car makers and software companies working on self-driving car technology research extensively how cars should interact with other cars in traffic, much remains to be done about how autonomous vehicles should interact with pedestrians in traffic. To address the issue of car-to-pedestrian communication, product development company Semcon has developed a smiling self-driving car technology concept. When the self-driving car’s sensors detect a pedestrian, a signal is sent to a display placed in the front car grill and a smile lights up to show pedestrians that the car will stop at a safe distance.

According to a survey conducted by Inizio on behalf of Semcon, eight out of ten pedestrians seek eye contact with the driver when they cross the street. This is not possible with a self-driving vehicle. “Today there are clear agreements on how cars must indicate when changing lanes. We now need to develop a common language for how self-driving cars will interact with pedestrians,” said Markus Granlund, president and CEO at Semcon.

The survey also found that 47 percent of respondents do not trust self-driving cars. “A lot of the discussions regarding self-driving cars are about the car’s technology. But how these vehicles will interact with unprotected road users is just as important. Self-driving cars need to communicate in a way that feels familiar and creates trust,” said Karin Eklund, responsible for User Experience at Semcon.

Semcon’s long-term ambition is to create a standard for how self-driving vehicles communicate with their surroundings, in partnership with research institute Viktoria Swedish ICT and stakeholders in the automotive industry. A possible evolution of the smiling self-driving car could include LIDAR systems, whereby eye tracking and laser technology would enable a more detailed analysis of the car surroundings. “The strength behind the smiling car is that we allow people to communicate in the way they are used to, instead of taking an unnecessary detour via technology,” said Karin Eklund.

Mercedes-Benz is one of several car makers to have developed similar light-based communication concepts for self-driving cars. In its F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car, Mercedes reinforces the use of LED displays at the front and rear of the car with acoustic communication, including specific spoken instructions. Google has also filed a patent on so-called pedestrian notification about how an on-board computer can determine the correct way to respond to a pedestrian and which type of notification it should provide the pedestrian with.

Demand for self-driving cars

IHS Markit expects sales of autonomous vehicles to reach 21 million globally in 2035 and total nearly 76 million between 2016 and 2035. The U.S. market is expected to be first with autonomy deployments, while China is set to have become the largest self-driving car market by 2035.

However, according to a survey by Strategy Analytics, consumers’ interest in autonomous driving systems has fallen in 2016, after reaching an all-time high in 2015. In fact, consumers’ interest in a range of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) has fallen from 2015. Poor human-machine interface (HMI) and lack of perceived added value could be to blame. “Our research on autonomous parking and driving systems shows that these features are riddled with poor HMI and in some cases add minimal value for the driver. The decrease in consumer interest for these features suggests that the word is getting out, and early implementations of these features are not meeting consumer expectations,” said Chris Schreiner, director of In-Vehicle UX, at Strategy Analytics.

IIoT News Recap: New Urban Agenda agreed on ahead of Habitat III; Tesla says Mobileye tried to block its vision capability program; Multiple smart city components vulnerable to cyberattacks – Kaspersky Lab; Today’s forecast: The global smart street solutions market

 smiling self-driving car

Smart cities: New Urban Agenda agreed on ahead of Habitat III

Following months of negotiations, the New Urban Agenda has been agreed on at the Habitat III informal intergovernmental meeting held at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 7-10 September 2016. The New Urban Agenda is action-oriented and designed to set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development. “The implementation of the New Urban Agenda contributes to the implementation and localization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in an integrated manner, and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, including SDG 11 of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable,” the agenda stated. It will be formally adopted at the United Nations’ Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.

Autonomous driving: Tesla says Mobileye tried to block its vision capability program

Computer vision company Mobileye, which ended its collaboration with Tesla in July, is now accused by Tesla of trying to block the development of the car maker’s own vision capability program, Bloomberg reports. According to an e-mailed statement referred to by Bloomberg, Mobileye stopped hardware support for Tesla’s future platforms and issued statements saying safety concerns lied behind the discontinuance after Tesla refused to pay more for the continuing supply of hardware.

IoT security: Multiple smart city components vulnerable to cyberattacks – Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab researchers have found a number of cyber security vulnerabilities in digital kiosks, interactive terminals and speed cameras used in cities. These vulnerabilities can expose private user data and be used to spy or spread malicious code. In the case of digital kiosks, Kaspersky Lab found that weaknesses could allow an attacker to access hidden features of the operating system, typically Windows or Android. “Some public terminals we’ve investigated were processing very important information, such as user’s personal data, including credit card numbers and verified contacts (for instance, mobile phone numbers). Many of these terminals are connected with each other and with other networks. For an attacker they may be a very good surface for very different types of attacks – from simple hooliganism, to sophisticated intrusion into the network of the terminal owner,” said Denis Makrushin, security expert at Kaspersky Lab. “Moreover, we believe that in the future public digital kiosks will become more integrated in other city smart infrastructure, as they are a convenient way to interact with multiple services. Before this happens, vendors need to make sure that it is impossible to compromise terminals through the weaknesses we’ve discovered.” In the case of speed cameras, Kaspersky Lab researchers were able to identify multiple IP addresses belonging to such devices without any password requirements. Moreover, some of the tools used to control these cameras are also available to anyone on the web.

Today’s forecast: Global smart street solutions market to reach $23.8 billion through 2024

Navigant Research forecasts that the global smart street solutions market will total $23.8 billion between 2015 and 2024 as smart streets become a key element in smart city deployments. “Streets are no longer just a point of physical connection, but also a point of virtual connection to a wide range of service providers and information sources,” said Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Research. “The street itself is becoming a rich source of data on current activities and the status of street assets.”

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