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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Creepy or cute? The self-driving car with 'eyes'

Jaguar Land Rover's experimental vehicle aims to foster 'trust' in pedestrians

Jaguar Land Rover's experimental vehicle has virtual 'eyes'. Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover's experimental vehicle has virtual 'eyes'. Jaguar Land Rover

Worried about the onrush of autonomous driving technology? Jaguar Land Rover hopes to assuage doubts with its new self-driving vehicle that features virtual "eyes".

The carmaker says that 63 per cent of pedestrians are worried about how safe it will be to cross the road in the future, given the seemingly inevitable ascent of self-driving cars.

And while JLR's test vehicle resembles a character from the movie Wall-E, it has a serious intention: its "eye pods" look directly at pedestrians to reassure them that the autonomous vehicle has seen them and will take appropriate action.

The experiment, which took place in Coventry in central England, enlisted the help of cognitive psychologists to "better understand how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology".

Creepy or cute? Well, as you can see from the video above, in the #MeToo era, the woman shown might feel a little uncomfortable at being virtually ogled as she crosses the road.

This trial is part of a wider study on how connected and autonomous vehicles can replicate human behaviour and reactions when driving.

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Latest from The National's Motoring section

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