International transportation network Uber has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to register a new way self-driving cars will interact with pedestrians, The Verge hi-tech news website said Friday.
According to the application, Uber intends to provide their self-driving cars with a "virtual driver" that would appear on the windshield to point pedestrians in the right direction, flashing arrows that would appear on the side-view mirrors and a projector that would display a virtual crosswalk in front of the car.
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The outlet compares the prototype of the vehicle with "the Las Vegas Strip," as it should have strong highlighting in order to compensate for the absence of a human behind the wheel.
Commenting on the application, Uber's product designer Sean Chin said that "in the real world, when there's a human driver, they're usually not shouting out the window, 'Hey I'm slowing down now.' There are subtle things you can do, like a head nod or flashing lights. And while we don't have a final implementation, what we're considering is what is a new language we can create to give people that information."
Was out at Church/Duboce for over an hour today. Self-driving Uber was only car that illegally traveled in the transit lane. pic.twitter.com/uH87CWjnK5— Michael (@michaelprhodes) December 21, 2016
Uber began testing its self-driving cars in the US city of Pittsburgh back in May 2016, while customers received access to the service the same year, in September.