Driverless cars need to make their passengers feel like drivers

Gigaom

Before people start truly embracing autonomous cars, first people need to trust them enough to ride in them. That’s not going to be easy — a recent study found that 88 percent of Americans said there’s no way they’d ride in a driverless car.

The way to get beyond those fears, according to Peter Skillman, chief of design at HERE, is to have the passenger feel like he or she is in control even when the car is in motion and taking a computer-generated route.

“Knowing where you are and what’s around is you is key to trust,” Skillman said at Roadmap 2014 in San Francisco. “You need a visual gestalt of where you’re going.”

There are lots of ways to make sure your passenger still feels like a driver, even if it’s a computer that’s steering the vehicle. One of the easiest ways is to provide the planned route in…

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