Google’s self-driving cars were intentionally designed to look really cute.
Google wants you to think its vehicles are adorable so you’ll ram into them less, according The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman, who took a ride in one of the vehicles and talked to several engineers about the project.
It’s all based on psychology. Humans treat inanimate objects that resemble living things with greater care, caution, and reverence. Studies prove it.
See the car’s wideset headlight “eyes”? Its front cameras centered like a nose? You can almost see a mouth on there, huh?
“By turning self-driving cars into an adorable Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots, Google hopes to spiritually disarm other drivers,” Inman writes. “I also suspect the cuteness is used to quell some of the road rage that might emerge from being stuck behind one of these things. They’re intended as moderate-distance couriers, not open-road warriors, so their max speed is 25 miles per hour.”
Read the rest of The Oatmeal’s fun, funny post here.