Turn signals are the facial expressions of automobiles says design guru Don Norman.

We propose using WayRay Navion holographic AR navigation system to augment cars in view with anthropomorphized features such as eyes and facial expressions, reflecting the attention, emotions and intentions of their drivers.

Use Cases

  • Intuitively detect whether other drivers can see us.
  • Indicate the gaze and attention of drivers, showing whether they are looking in our direction.
  • Provide insight into the behavior of other commuters in traffic.
  • Making cars easier to identify as our visual perceptions are hardwired for faces.
  • Piggybacking on the intuitive human ability to analyze facial expressions.


Use camera of device to detect whether the eyes of the driver of other cars are in sight, augmenting these cars with eyes to indicate that they can see us. Eyes are visualized Pixar Cars style on the windshield of cars in view, avoiding hiding the lights of the cars. Eyes are show also on back of car to indicate drivers attention in mirrors (or lack of it). Closed eyes when driver is not looking.

To the extent possible, we show best estimate of drivers gaze based on eye detection captured from camera, by default using minimalistic graphics for clarity, optional goofy mode to show mouth (or tongue!) and silly or anime style eyes. Lips may turn redder upon braking (to match signals of car).

Advanced/future version use camera on drivers in other cars to capture and share their facial expressions and emotions. Add info from Waze or related services using cartoonish graphics to provide info about other drivers.

Selling Proposition

It can be challenging to read the current traffic situation on busy streets, with limited access to model the behavior of other drivers. Yet humans excel in intuitively grasping the intention of others from their facial expressions. By augmenting cars with facial expressions, we can improve the human ability to read and handle complex traffic and better understand the behavior of other drivers on the road.

A future version of the system with richer emotion detection can also visualize drowsiness or aggression to alert about sleepy drivers or aggressive ones.

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