Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google’s self-driving cars will tell you when it’s safe to cross

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.”

See also: Google car pulled over for being too slow

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.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.