Google recently filed a patent that reveals how autonomous cars might be able to communicate with pedestrians.
With no driver in the car, Google had to get creative in how the car would let pedestrians know if it was safe to cross the street. Without a hand signal or some verification from a driver, for instance, it could become difficult for pedestrians to know whether the vehicle would be coming to a complete stop, yielding or continuing at its current speed.
According to the Washington Post, the Google’s patent describes several potential solutions including using electronic mounted screens that would display text, a stop sign or even a traffic sign.
Another viable option, according to the patent, is placing a speaker on the outside of the vehicle. The speaker would then call out (presumably rather loudly) alerts such as “safe to cross” or “coming through.”
Although a shouting autonomous vehicle might not be an ideal solution (especially if you’re the pedestrian), the web giant clearly hasn’t ruled it out as a potential solution.
Google began testing out its self-driving vehicles on the road this year, but it will likely be years before autonomous cars hit the consumer market.
What do you think about Google’s pedestrian safety solutions? Comment below or tweet me @MNetAbbey.