It happens every day as a pedestrian. As we wait to cross the street a helpful nod or wave from a driver assures you won’t be flattened as you make your way to the other side.
However, Google’s driverless cars can’t offer a reassuring wave or flash, so how are pedestrians supposed to know it's safe in the looming self-driving era?
In a patent application granted earlier this week, Google believed it has its solution.
The company plans to place electronic screens at multiple points on the vehicles, informing pedestrians that it will be safe to cross.
Those displays, which may appear on the side, roof, hood and rear of the car, are likely to show traffic signs or text.
Google is also considering installing a robotic hand that would make pedestrians aware the car has seen them.
The patent filing, which was initially made way back in 2012, also details speaker systems that would inform pedestrians it was “safe to cross” or the vehicle is “coming through.”
As The Washington Post report, Google has also received a patent for a remote unlocking system.
The Bluetooth-based tech would enable doors to be unlocked as a passenger approaches the vehicle. This will come in handy for a potential self-driving taxi service.