This was mentioned in Malcolm Gladwell-produced documentary AUTONOMY, the idea of having cars and pedestrians communicate through some kind of visual language as without a driver to indicate via body language like hand waves or head nods, it could get quite dangerous to decide whether or not it was safe to cross at a particular crossing or make a turn.
The specific relevant quote from the Cake.co piece above:
Noted autonomous car journalist and writer Tamara Warren asks, in reference to the phrasing of "autonomous cars" - "Whose autonomy are we talking about?" Is it our autonomy as humans? Or the cars' autonomy? There's a sense of fear about "the other" of an autonomous vehicle. You can't read the body language of a car.
A fascinating experiment that's profiled is Andy Schaudt's "seat suit" tests, where he's developed a concealment for a human inside the seat of a car to gauge reactions and body language of pedestrians who "think" they are interacting with an autonomous vehicle. They are developing a "new language" for these autonomous vehicles to convey interaction - in hopes that this language will be universal enough to translate cross-vehicle and prevent pedestrian harm.
While technologists, researchers and companies work on the future of transportation, there's a current crowdfunding campaign for a product called RoadWayve to help fight road rage and improve communication between drivers now. As seen in YankoDesign, what's RoadWayve all about?
RoadWayve aims at removing road-related rage by fostering communication. The minute a driver makes their intent known, or even apologizes for something they may have done, it goes a long way in diffusing a potential road-rage situation where people yell obscenities or repeatedly honk their horns in disapproval. The RoadWayve LED screen helps communicate that intent.
Designed to mount on the rear windshield of your car and powered either via the RoadWayve remote (that sits on your dashboard), Wayvemote, or your smartphone, RoadWayve can communicate messages to drivers around you. May it be: asking to merge into their lane, or apologizing for cutting them off. You can also thank drivers for letting you overtake them, or ask them to turn down their high-beam headlights, and the RoadWayve app even lets you add custom messages (works best for situation-specific messages or messages in local languages).
Current pricing for RoadWayve is $129 for the Early Bird RoadWayve (estimated shipping July 2020).
What do you think?
Would you utilize something like this in your own transport?