Ford sees how pedestrians will respond to "self-driving" vehicles

Self-driving cars are about to be the way of the (near) future, and Ford is an automaker that is taking their development of autonomous driving technologies seriously!

However, Ford realized it wasn't just important to ensure that vehicles were able to self-drive, but that pedestrians also know what the cars are doing, as there is no face to gauge behind the wheel of a car.

Wanting to see how pedestrians would react to a self-driving vehicle, Ford built a "seat suit". This allowed a person to blend seamlessly into the seat and make it appear to those passing by that the car was totally driverless, when it fact it was just being simulated; needless to say there were a lot of photos and surprised stares.

How the car communicates is by flashing a series of white lights across the windshield. If it's about to accelerate, the lights flash quickly. If it's just driving along then the lights stand still. If the vehicle is yielding the lights move slowly back and forth. Ford also has plans to come up with audible cues for pedestrians who are visually impaired.

So far, they've covered 1,800 miles of busy city driving over the course of 150 hours, and we're excited to see what they do next. This is still very much in testing mode and Ford is continuing to collect data to see how long it takes for pedestrians to not only recognize the light sequence but also for the sequences to become second nature.

Ford hopes that they can start "training" the world for how to react to these self-driving development cars and that automakers can come up with an industry standard now rather than waiting for them to show up on the Houghton Lake and Roscommon MI streets!

While we wait for fully self-driving cars to come to market, you can get a sense of semi-autonomous features by checking out a new Ford that comes equipped with Ford's Safe and Smart advanced safety technologies. We have several of those at our Cadillac dealership and look forward to showing them off.

Categories: New Inventory, News
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