Saturday, 17 December 2011

Google gets patent for landing strip technology in self driving cars.

Google unveiled its self driving cars back in 2010 and development on this technology has not stopped. According to TechRadar, the Internet giant has received a patent for 'landing strips' on their self driving cars. Basically landing strips will allow the car to go from manual (driver driven) to autonomous (self driven) modes. The car uses QR codes (which the patent refers to as reference indicators) embedded on the road to switch modes when the car drives over the code. The information can make the car stop and even know its exact position.

The patent says, "Disclosed are methods and devices for transitioning a mixed-mode autonomous vehicle from a human driven mode to an autonomously driven mode. Transitioning may include stopping a vehicle on a predefined landing strip and detecting a reference indicator. Based on the reference indicator, the vehicle may be able to know its exact position. Additionally, the vehicle may use the reference indictor to obtain an autonomous vehicle instruction via a URL. After the vehicle knows its precise location and has an autonomous vehicle instruction, it can operate in autonomous mode."

According to PCMag, Google's Sergey Brin is overseeing the project and has said that in addition to technological developments, the vehicles need to have legal permission to be allowed on the roads. He said in October that Google's self driven cars have already driven over 1000 miles in autonomous mode, but they need to aggregate 1 million miles.

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