Driverless cars are being tested in the region with 'virtual eyes' in a bid to see how the vehicles react to pedestrian movements.
Autonomous vehicle specialist Aurrigo has teamed up with luxury car brand Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to fit the eyes to the front of its driverless pods to understand how humans will trust self-driving vehicles.
The eyes are tasked with calculating how much information the self-driving cars of the future should share with users or pedestrians.
As part of the engineering project, JLR has enlisted the help of a team of cognitive psychologists to understand better how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology.
The driverless pods are being tested on a fabricated street scene at Aurrigo's lab in Coventry while the behaviour of pedestrians is analysed as they wait to cross the road.
The virtual eyes have been devised by a team of advanced engineers in JLR's Future Mobility division.
The pods seek out the pedestrian - appearing to 'look' directly at them - signalling to road users that it has identified them and that it intends to take avoiding action.
Engineers record trust levels in the person before and after the pod makes eye contact to find out whether it generates sufficient confidence that it would stop for them.
David Keene, chief executive of Aurrigo, said: "Safety is at the heart of our autonomous technology and our close working relationship with JLR meant we could quickly accommodate 'virtual eyes' onto a number of our pods to facilitate this important study.
"The valuable information will be used as part of the UK Autodrive programme and will also shape future developments in how we bring self-driving vehicles on to the pavements, streets and roads of the UK and overseas."
The trials are part of a wider study exploring how future connected and autonomous vehicles can replicate human behaviour and reactions when driving.
As part of the study, more than 500 test subjects have been studied interacting with the self-driving Aurrigo pods.
Pete Bennett, future mobility research manager at Jaguar Land Rover, added: "It's second-nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road.
"Understanding how this translates in tomorrow's more automated world is important.
"We want to know if it is beneficial to provide humans with information about a vehicle's intentions or whether simply letting a pedestrian know it has been recognised is enough to improve confidence."