Artificial selection

In Japan, they propose to equip unmanned vehicles with artificial robotic eyes similar to those of humans

When crossing the road, pedestrians tend to make eye contact with the driver so they know they are seen. What if they drive their automatic drivers? The developers offer to install artificial eyes on the machines.

To help

Scientists from the University of Tokyo did their own research by outfitting a golf cart with robots to make robotic eyes. The driver was placed in the cabin, behind a mirror film on the windshield, which gave the impression that no one was driving him in the car.

This is how robots see a golf cart.

In the experiment, four videos were shot in which the camera recorded the moments when a golf cart approached a crosswalk. In the first video, the car stopped to look at the pedestrian, the second, ignoring the man and passing without stopping. In more commercials, the golf cart performed the same chore, but it no longer had the same robotic eyes.

Four experimental scenarios are introduced.

In addition, study participants selected 9 men and 9 women from among 18 adult volunteers. They viewed videos previously filmed with virtual reality headsets – which made them see the surroundings from the perspective of pedestrians. The videos were shown several times in random order, and the subjects had to decide within 3 seconds if it was safe to cross the road in each of the situations.

Video VR Experience: Participants are enlightened by the scenario 40 times each, imagining themselves crossing the street on the Tokyo campus.

The study found that women were more likely to cross when it was unsafe (such as in the golf cart, not before stopping) and women less likely to cross when it was safe to do so (i.e. when a car is stopped). However, both errors occurred less frequently when the cart was equipped with eyes. Men said the situation seemed more risky when the eyes were looking away, while women said they felt more confident when the eyes were looking at them.

The researchers say the results will be different if they conduct a larger experiment with more scenarios and participants. However, they still think the artificial look built into rolling vehicles is a great idea.

If robotic eyes on self-driving cars can really lead to safety and reduce traffic accidents, we should think about how to implement them. In the future, we want to develop the automatic control of an AI-connected robotic retina for self-driving, which can adapt to different situations, said one of the study authors, the Professor Takeo Igarashi.

This research paper was presented at the 14th International Conference on Interactive Automotive Applications. To make traffic safer with an unmanned vehicle, but not the first attempt in 2018, Jaguar Land Rover conducted a test to prove that pedestrians felt safer crossing the road in front of the automated modules. As he passed the tests, the acceleration eyes used to catch the traffic light were what was needed to ensure safe passage.

Watch: Newatlas.