THE BRITISH LIBRARY

In through the outfield blog

14 July 2012

Google's driverless cars

Google has been road testing a driverless car, and so I had a look for its relevant patent specifications. They are controlled by computers processing a combination of mapping data, radar, laser sensors and video feeds. The vehicles used are Toyota Prius hybrids, and 200,000 miles have been covered without an accident in Nevada. Sebastian Thrun, who was behind the Google Streetview project, has been behind it, if only because it uses some of the technology.

These are the ones that I’ve traced.

Transitioning a mixed-mode vehicle to autonomous mode.

Traffic signal mapping and detection, drawing shown below.

Traffic signal patent drawing by Google

Zone driving.

Diagnosis and repair for autonomous vehicles.

System and method for predicting behaviors of detected objects.

Here's a video on the project.

 

The 1939-40 New York's World Fair had the Futurama exhibit at the General Motors pavilion with a ride through the "world of tomorrow", with the landscape including autonomous vehicles moving steadily in formation on wide roads. It was supposed to happen in 20 years' time. Many experts say that driverless cars have a much better chance this time.

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