The search giant is functioning on self-driving taxis
Google has been developing self-driving car technology since 2009, and the company is supposedly planning to launch its own ride-sharing service that could compete Uber and Lyft.
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Now, previously published Google patents application offers some insight as to how the search giant might arrange autonomous taxis capable of knowing where to meet passengers despite unforeseeable road circumstances.
The patent application, that is dated December 2016 and was discovered by weblog Patent Yogi and therefore the Verge describes a memory system for self-driving cars to store map information, together with predetermined locations for selecting up and dropping off passengers. There is the variety of potential obstacles that would create it difficult for a driverless taxi to safely stop so as to receive or drop off a passenger: most notably the presence of construction or emergency services, because of the patent notes. Certain areas can also have a speed limit that’s too high for a self-driving car to prevent and await a passenger.
The technology labeled in Google’s patent goals to make it easy for autonomous cabs to find customers even in these conditions by keeping a catalogue of prearranged areas that are convenient for meeting passengers. When a user wishes a ride through a mobile device, the self-driving car’s system would be able to advise a safe pickup area close to the customer’s location, according to the explanation in the document.
The patent application is developing as Google recently announced the strategy to spin off its self-driving car unit into an independent entity within parent company Alphabet called Waymo. While there’s no sign that the technology labeled in the patent application will ever be applied into any of Google’s products, it’s further evidence that transportation and technology companies similar are focusing heavily on self-driving car progressions.
Uber, which acknowledged a $258 million investment from Google in 2013, is testing self-driving vehicles in zones such as Arizona and Pittsburgh, Penn. Uber also attained autonomous trucking startup Otto in August. John Zimmer, president of taxi hailing service Lyft, forecast in September that autonomous vehicles will account for the majority of the service’s rides in 5 years.