The number of Americans who would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car has increased by 10% since 2017, according to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Because of that, manufacturers are trying to figure out a way to make their autonomous vehicles more trustworthy.
AAA's survey was conducted shortly after a self-driving vehicle, part of a test by Uber, killed a pedestrian in March. In late 2017, 63% of Americans were afraid to ride in a self-driving car, but after March 2018, that number increased to 73%. Before, only 49% of millennials were afraid of these vehicles, but that number jumped the most drastically of any other demographic to 64%. Other generations are even more fearful, with 68% of Gen Xers and 71% of Baby Boomers saying "no" to the new technology.
But Jaguar Land Rover is currently developing a solution. The company has teamed with a group of cognitive psychologists to help discover how their technology's behavior affects a human's confidence in it.
So, what's the break-through idea? Googly eyes. 👀
Check out the video showing Jaguar Land Rover's 'eye pod' technology.
Pete Bennet, the Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, explained why they chose to pursue this technology.
"It's second-nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road. Understanding how this translates in tomorrow's more automated world is important. We want to know if it is beneficial to provide humans with information about a vehicle's intentions or whether simply letting a pedestrian know it has been recognised is enough to improve confidence."
Some people think the eyes are not only cool, but cute as well.
@cartoonbrew This looks fantastic. I hope the future of automated cars will be this cute. Since most Vehicles alrea… https://t.co/k7gUfMywfK— ADITL Comics (@ADITL Comics)1536537655.0
I might need more than this but it's a start 😊 Surveys reveal that the public remains apprehensive about self-drivi… https://t.co/Br0t9GliEQ— Natalee Smith (@Natalee Smith)1536160243.0
Others aren't so convinced.
@cartoonbrew It's not even looking at her tho, why would that be reassuring?— Mikolaj Kuta (@Mikolaj Kuta)1536577786.0
@jgcarpenter It looks like it is about to scoop up that person and eat them.— The Effing See (@The Effing See)1536347503.0
@techradar It's distracting you so the googly eyed car from the other side will run you over without you realising it 🙄😂— 🌻John McCarthy🌻 (@🌻John McCarthy🌻)1536538438.0
Jaguar Land Rover's self-driving pod has creepy googly eyes - Roadshow: #machinelearning #ai #iot Cc @MikeQuindazzi… https://t.co/NpkosFKka7— Joe Bond (@Joe Bond)1535789922.0
@cartoonbrew this is so cool and it's totally understandable, but my man, why it gotta look like that— Strange Small Thing (@Strange Small Thing)1536551315.0
@jgcarpenter I think it's a cool idea but if it failed and still hit me I don't think the last thing I would want t… https://t.co/mYoCQJDmp9— philip741 (@philip741)1536362937.0
Jaguar trialling driverless Land Rover 'with eyes' to interact safely with pedestrians. This is so creepy 🤠🤪 https://t.co/RhA4KLj2Gp— Miles Hayvice (@Miles Hayvice)1535770904.0
@DriverlessNow @BGR Yep - googly eyes should do all the work.— Ed Walters (@Ed Walters)1535601601.0
What do you think? Would a set of eyes put your nerves at ease?