Stories by John Shutko

Expert Voices

AVs need a common language to tell us what they’re doing

Ford self-driving test vehicle with lightbar communication system
Test vehicle with light bar communication system. Photo: Ford Motor Company

To peacefully share the road with human drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, self-driving cars will need a shared, easy-to-understand visual language to communicate their intent.

The big picture: There is currently no industry standard governing this communication. Automakers and tech companies must come together to create one, since a variety of conflicting light and color signals could cause widespread confusion and distrust.