Jaguar Land Rover has fitted "virtual eyes" to intelligent pods to understand how humans will trust self-driving vehicles, as research studies suggest nearly two-thirds of pedestrians worry about how safe it will be to cross the road in future. The friendly-faced "eye pods" have a vital job: helping work out how much information future autonomous cars should share with users or pedestrians to ensure that people trust the technology. Jaguar Land Rover has enlisted a team of cognitive psychologists to better understand how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology. The intelligent pods run autonomously on a fabricated street scene in Coventry, UK, while the behaviour of pedestrians is analysed as they wait to cross the road.

The pods seek out the pedestrian — appearing to "look" directly at them — signalling to road users that it has identified them and intends to take avoiding action. Engineers record trust levels in the person before and after the pod makes ...

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