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A Smile May Ease Autonomous Driving Acceptance [Video]

With self driving cars roaming the streets of Cupertino, Pittsburg and Gothenburg, it’s quickly coming to light that pedestrians are less than comfortable with the inevitable, as Autonomous Cars go mainstream. The solution may be as simple as a smile.

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While the “mainstreaming” of Autonomous (self driving cars) may be years away in most rural and urban locals, Acura, Tesla, Volvo and most if not all major auto manufacturers, Google, Apple, and now Uber, push for mainstream acceptance of what most if not all auto safety development engineers not only consider to be the inevitable, but a necessity in pushing automotive safety and convenience to the next logical level. We drive the near autonomous Volvo S90 on the road to Malaga.

Semcon AB demonstrates the value of a smile

According to Swedish engineering and product information giant Semcon AB, pedestrians, when crossing in front of a car, feel most at ease when having direct eye contact and subsequent acknowledgement or their presence by the car's driver. Hence, less of a change of being run over by the car. I drive the freeways of Los Angeles mostly hands and break free.

In a recent road test, Semcon rigged a “dummy” self driving car, and checked the reactions of encountered pedestrians with hidden cameras, and then interview them. The following video is a real-world, unrehearsed reaction to the logical future in personal and shared transportation. According to Semcon, the solution may be as simple as a smile.

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