Ford Wants its Self-Driving Cars to Read Your Body Language

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Ford is working on technology that can predict vehicle movements based on a driver’s body language.

A patent application filed on November 4, 2015, was published this week and in it, it details “systems, methods, and devices for predicting driver intent and future movements of a human-driven vehicle.” Essentially, the system predicts future movements of a car by using a camera system, a boundary component, a body language component and a prediction component.

One reason Ford is likely developing this technology is to help keep roads safe when autonomous vehicles are first introduced. It’s highly unlikely that self-driving cars will be adopted at a rapid rate, meaning for a period of time, there will be both self-driving cars and human-driven cars sharing the roadways.

SEE ALSO: Ford Patent Details Automatically Adjusting Rear Seats

In the patent application, Ford acknowledges that the first generations of autonomous vehicles are having to drive alongside human drivers, and as a result, autonomous vehicles need to be able to predict the motion of surrounding vehicles, even if they are human-driven. The technology Ford is working on is hoping the predictions are more accurate if the intentions of those other drivers can be inferred with the help of information about their body language, such as the direction of their gaze over time and any gestures they make, like waving to signal another car to go first at a four-way stop.

Discuss this story on our Ford Forum

  • Perry F. Bruns

    What does this mean for road head?

    Asking for a friend.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    This patent has to be a fake to mislead the competition. It makes no sense otherwise. Even if they were to go ahead and attempt to develop something like this, it would be a waste of time, because no computer can accurately predict what a human will do in another car. I would not want to be in one of those early test models. So this has to be somebody’s ego trip, or a fake. Ford seriously needs to focus on reliability, electrifying it’s fleet, and autonomy because that’s where the future is. Direct sales wouldn’t hurt either.