Lexus partners with TED in human-centric AV development

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Automotive manufacturer Lexus has partnered with the TED Fellows program, a global multidisciplinary group of thought leaders, to develop new designs for autonomous vehicles which it claims prioritize people over technology.

TED senior fellows neuroscientist Greg Gage and artist Sarah Sandman debuted their designs for human-centric autonomous vehicles at a recent event, and two short films spotlighting their ideas have been produced.

As a neuroscientist and engineer, TED senior fellow Greg Gage believes autonomous vehicles and long commutes make for the perfect environment for neurotechnology to create a “brain-car” interface that allows the automobile to be integrated directly into how the driver feels. By recording a range of human signals, from human EKG to face microgestures, Gage envisions that Lexus could create a profile of a person’s mood and use it to change the ambience of the car.

Meanwhile, artist, designer and TED senior fellow Sarah Sandman foresees a future where people are even more buried in their digital devices, and the simple gesture of waving to a pedestrian is lost. With community in mind, Sandman has envisioned a vehicle that connects the inside to the outside world with 360° windows, fully rotational seats, a speaker system for interaction with cyclists or pedestrians, and even a chalk-writing system to leave custom art or messages in the street. Sandman also proposes a cooperative ownership model that increases affordability and makes for a more inclusive, meaningful future.

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