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.
Others aren't so convinced.
What do you think? Would a set of eyes put your nerves at ease?