Tesla's Autopilot system is currently pushing the limits of automated driving assistance and, like other automakers, ultimately plans to release self-driving cars.  As another example of this, BMW (with Intel and Mobileye) recently announced plans to have its fully autonomous (level 5) in operation for 2021.

Semcon's

Semcon's "Smiling Car" Acknowledges Pedestrians

But what of the common pedestrian when that autonomy hits city streets?

Traditionally, crossing a busy road involves watching not only for an oncoming vehicle to slow, but for the driver to make eye contact with the pedestrian to acknowledge the foot traveler, forming an unspoken bond of trust that it is "ok" to cross.

Enter Semcon, and it "Smiling Car"!

“Today there are clear agreements on how cars must indicate when changing lanes. We now need to develop a common language for how self-driving cars will interact with pedestrians," Markus Granlund, Semcon president and CEO.

Semcon says the next step for the concept is to possibly refine it with eye tracking systems and laser (LIDAR) technology - to give the car a better understanding of its environment, and the people around it.

Great idea?  Bad idea?  ...or maybe just a good idea that needs to be toned down a bit?