Introducing Augmented Reality to Autonomous Vehicles: Sharing a Car’s 3D Perception with Passengers to Build Trust in Autonomous Vehicles
As with any novel technology, autonomous vehicles need to instill trust in users before mainstream adoption takes off. A similar example can be seen with the introduction of the elevator. Visual cues and feedback mechanisms were installed to inform passengers of the elevator’s safeguards, actions and intentions, building trust between machine and rider. Autonomous vehicle adoption will depend on similar information sharing through visual and auditory cues. Considering the dynamic environment surrounding a vehicle, this should be achieved using 3D map projections (Augmented Reality) overlays on top of live camera and sensor feeds from the vehicle, combining what the car sees, what it understands (cognition), and what it intends to do.
For driverless cars, developers must consider the transition users must undergo. Potential users have expressed deep hesitation about the technology. According to a study by the University of Michigan, 95 percent of people feel cautious about self-driving cars and would like an operable steering wheel and brake pedal included.
In order secure confidence from these passengers, new communication tools need to be integrated in vehicles to act as a bridge between the mind of the human and the cognition of the car. For example, a passenger-facing display inside the vehicle could offer a heads-up display combining live video feed from the vehicle’s cameras and an Augmented Reality overlay. The overlay could effectively illustrate what the vehicle understands of its surroundings (cognition) and what it intends to do. The display also has the potential to serve as a control element, giving passengers the ability to enter manual commands and/or take over decision making. This grants insight into the vehicle’s actions, and builds trust in the car’s competence in interpreting its surroundings.
Manufacturers that provide an Augmented Reality-enabled user experience may end up with a demonstrable competitive advantage.