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.
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.