One of the biggest concerns about driverless vehicles is that their actions will be difficult to predict, especially for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
But Jaguar Land Rover has suggested this might not be an issue in the future with the development of a system that notifies everyone outside the car which way the vehicle is about to go.
The concept projects the direction of travel onto the road ahead, which the car maker says will help people develop a level of trust in autonomous technology.
Jaguar Land Rover has given plenty of thought to the safety of future vehicles in recent months.
Last October it worked with Guide Dogs for the Blind to develop the best sound for electric vehicles to make so they can be heard by those with visual impairments.
And now its Future Mobility division has teamed up with a group of cognitive psychologists to create a number of trails to measure the success of projectors that beam a change of direction and planned acceleration and deceleration onto the tarmac.
It set about the study to help improve the relationship between humans and future vehicles, following a 2017 study that found that 41 per cent of drivers and pedestrians are concerned about sharing the road with autonomous cars.
To make the intention of driverless models more obvious, a variety of projections showing a series of lines and bars with adjustable spacing to dictate to other road users where the vehicle is planning to go next.
The gaps shorten as the pod is preparing to brake before fully compressing at a stop.
As the pod moves off and accelerates, the spacing between the lines extends.
And before a driverless car turns, the bars fan out left or right to indicate the direction of travel.
Engineers at the car brand said the technology could also be developed to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians.
The trials uses autonomous pods developed by Aurrigo and were carried out on a fabricated street scene at a Coventry facility with engineers recording trust levels reported by pedestrians both with and without projections.
The trust trial programme - which also included fitting of 'virtual eyes' to the intelligent pods to see if making eye contact improved trust in the technology - was conducted as part of Jaguar Land Rover's government-supported UK Autodrive project.
Pete Bennett, Future Mobility Research Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: "The trials are about understanding how much information a self-driving vehicle should share with a pedestrian to gain their trust.
"Just like any new technology, humans have to learn to trust it, and when it comes to autonomous vehicles, pedestrians must have confidence they can cross the road safely.
"This pioneering research is forming the basis of ongoing development into how self-driving cars will interact with people in the future."