This Is Why Ford Made a Man Dress Up as a Car Seat
Ford had a man dress up as a car seat for self-driving car research.
It sounds crazy, but the car company was using the tactic to see how other drivers or pedestrians would react around what they believed was a self-driving car.
The test, which was a joint effort by Ford and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, had the man wear a fake headrest hood over his face and had his body covered in a custom-sewn upholstery armor, according the to Washington Post. It also used a light bar at the top of the windshield, which was meant to signal to other drivers what the car was doing, serving to fill in for the human gestures of waving or nodding to those that drivers interact with.
The study reported that the lights were considered to be the best communication method because the method is already standardized and widely understood. Yielding would show two white lights that move side to side, self-driving mode is signaled by a solid white line and acceleration would show a rapidly blinking white light.
The experiment was conducted on public roads in northern Virginia throughout August, according to Ford. The seemingly self-driving car logged approximately 150 hours and 1,800 miles 0f driving.