Science

Google Submits More Autonomous Vehicle Patents

By Paul Pajarillo , Dec 06, 2015 08:15 PM EST
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Dmitri Dolgov, Principal Engineer on the software team of Google's Self-Driving Car project, speaks to the media during a preview of Google's prototype autonomous vehicles in Mountain View, California September 29, 2015. (Photo : Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage)

Tech giant Google has been granted two new patents for its self-driving cars. Patents granted are to justify how autonomous vehicles can interact to pedestrians.

Google has been working on ways to make self-driving vehicles fit conditions of current roads. Recently, the company has been granted patents that would justify how self-driving vehicles can interact with people passing them by, such as cyclists and pedestrians, via signs that flash on vehicle bumpers and doors as well as robot hands to make traffic hand gestures.

There are two new patents handed out to Google with regard to its self-driving cars. First is for its interior design elements and second is for its outdoor speakers and flashing screens.

The first patent showcases the types of transformation essential to auto-navigation if the driver decides to remove the steering wheel. The second patent showcases devices that are needed to improve awareness of cyclists and pedestrians to the vehicle.

With regard to the car's interior, the first thing noticeable is that it has no steering wheel or pedals for gas and brake, even the shift stick will be missing. In replacement to the steering wheel, the car will feature a huge touch screen panel on the dashboard and a control panel in between the seats. Of note, Google's self-driving car is only a two-seater vehicle. The control panel will feature a green-colored "go" button and a red-colored "stop" button. It also has shift buttons to control the car's window and volume buttons to control the car's sound system.

With regard to the car's exterior, Google covers an array of speakers and screens, all of which are specially designed to let the vehicle interact with cyclists and pedestrians. The car can speak out "it is safe to cross," while the screen placed on its bumpers, doors and hood act as indicators that say if it is now safe for pedestrians to cross the road or not.

Autonomous vehicles are originally planned to eliminate or lessen road accidents. However, the capacity for a car to interact with people will be a crucial factor because there still are no guarantees if hackers can reprogram the car's system to speak inappropriate languages or to display vulgar gestures.

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