Google acquires patent for driverless robot car

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Google doesn’t only help you find related topics for keywords you type in their query box. Now, it can tell your car where to drive.

Google has gotten hold of a patent for this technology earlier this week. Basically, it tells how a car can move from being human controlled to autonomous mode.

For example, a car drives to a certain location and basing on its visual indicator on a so called “landing strip”, the vehicle would transition to autonomous mode. This “landing strip” can be made up of bar codes or radio tags.

In Google’s corporate blog post a year ago, they said that the company hired autonomous vehicle engineers to improve on the state of driverless vehicles. Though they didn’t expound on the technology but software engineer Sebastian Thrun said that their goal is to “help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emission by fundamentally changing car use.”

Toyota’s hybrid, the Prius, have sensors and communications that sends huge amounts of data to Google’s data centers so that it can be analyzed and make driving decisions. Personally, I can’t wait to see my local Kia dealership have some of these for sale, I will be surely caught thinking ” the future is finally here”.

In the patent, the engineers detailed the method and the design of the devices.

Image Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET