To garner large-scale user acceptance and confidence for autonomous mobility solutions, the technology company Continental is developing a holistic solution for human-machine interaction, specifically designed for autonomous vehicles. This solution was developed in the CUbE, Continentals development platform for driverless technologies. Autonomous shuttle buses or robo-taxis currently being tested along predetermined routes will pave the way for tomorrow’s driverless vehicles, which will smoothly navigate complex, mixed traffic scenarios. But before they become a regular feature on urban roads, robo-taxis must gain wide-ranging user acceptance and trust. Safety, accessibility, comfort and an immersive onboard experience will drive acceptance for these vehicles, ultimately leading to their large-scale adoption.
The ultimate goal is to build trust between users and driverless vehicles
Safety is the main consideration for autonomous driving, be it for the passenger or the pedestrian. Continental’s holistic human-machine interface will respond and communicate when pedestrians are detected in the path of the shuttle. The vehicle’s sensors will register the presence of the pedestrian and validate this through an easily understandable audio-visual interface, which is compatible with certain optical disabilities, such as color blindness. For example, external displays with infographics will mirror the information detected by the sensors to inform the pedestrians or other vehicles that their presence has been registered by the shuttle. External sound, in addition, will communicate to the pedestrian that their presence has been detected in the vehicles trajectory and will caution them to move out of the way. If the vehicle stops to allow pedestrians to cross, the passengers inside will be notified accordingly.
Continental is actively considering all developments in the space of mobility and addressing the opportunities as well as challenges associated with driverless vehicles. The holistic human-machine interface concept is an example of a technology building block from Continental, which adds to the viability of driverless vehicles.