Google awarded self-driving car patent

Google has had a driverless car patent approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office which could eventually lead to autonomous vehicles
 Google driverless car

Google has been granted a patent for self-driving cars which should enable the search engine giant to develop autonomous vehicles. According to the application, the car will be controlled by a human, however when it reaches a pre-determined 'landing strip', the vehicle is able to detect is position based on a 'reference indicator'.


Google has been pursuing the idea of a driverless car for quite some time now, with the company pursuing law changes in Nevada regarding autonomous vehicles. In its last Zeitgeist, Larry Page even admitted: “It's an area that I've had some interest in since I was a grad student. It seemed pretty practical actually, I mean you think that driving a car is hard but it is not actually that hard for a computer if [it] has good data about what's about it."



Now it seems that Page's vision is close to being realised as the US Patent and Trademark Office accepted Google's filing. Even though its 'Transition a Mixed-mode Vehicle to Autonomous Mode' application was submitted in May, it had been hidden from public view until now.


"The landing strip allows a human driving the vehicle to know acceptable parking places for the vehicle," the patent filing discloses. "Additionally, the landing strip may indicate to the vehicle that it is parked in a region where it may transition into autonomous mode."


The car could be able to recognise something as simple as a road marking or direction sign. Then the vehicle would use a GPS receiver, a number of sensors and internet data relating to landmarks to find its own location. The car could then drive to its destination based on the user's requirements.  


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