Thursday, September 15, 2016

When To Cross? When the Car Smiles At You

How do you know when it's safe to cross the street? When the car approaching you smiles at you. A new self-driving car, called the Smiling Car, lights up with a smile to show that it has detected you and isn't going to run you over.

According to, when you're standing on a street corner waiting to cross, you usually make eye contact with the driver of the car in your path to create some sort of understanding that they won't drive into you. With self-driving cars, that doesn't work. So the Sweden-based engineering firm Semcon had a little fun with technology in order to let the car "communicate" with others.

Eventually, designers say that eye-tracking and laser technology will be able to not only detect a pedestrian waiting to cross the road, but also small head or eye movements.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.