When you cross the street do you wave or make eye contact with the driver to make sure they’ve seen you? Most pedestrians do.

In a few years you may look at the driver’s seat and see someone napping, reading the newspaper, or playing a mobile game. They’re in a self-driving car – and while you will be perfectly safe, there’s no way for you to see that the car has seen you.

Karin Eklund of Semcon wants to make driverless cars smile.


Smiling Car

Semcon, a user and product research firm, has partnered with Viktoria Swedish ICT (information and communication technology) and the automotive industry to help generate international standards for communication that happens outside a self-driving car.

The idea is that an LED smile will light up on the front of the car every time it stops for a pedestrian or bicyclist, letting the walker know they’ve been seen.

That should make joggers, dog-walkers, and strollers smile.

By Sharon Campbell