Google’s patent shows how Self-Driving taxis will determine pickup locations
Anyone who has used an app to hail a taxi know that it’s almost impossible to get the pickup location right, without having to call the driver and describe the exact location where you are standing. Now imagine a future where there is no driver! How exactly are you going to convey to our Self-driving taxi where you are waiting? In addition, autonomous vehicles may not be able to stop and drive in the same way we can.
Google’s latest patent “Determining Pickup and Destination Locations for Autonomous Vehicles” addresses this challenge. The system proposed by Google will assess your input location, and if its not ideal for the Self-driving car to pick you up, it will provide you with an alternative set of suggested pickup (and drop) locations taking into account your surrounding and the optimal walking distance to the suggested pickup location. Once the user selects one of the suggested pickup locations, the system will dispatch the autonomous vehicle to the defined location. If there was ever any doubt that Google was working on an alternative to Uber, the patent certainly puts them to rest.
The technology behind autonomous cars is already there, however the practical challenges will probably take longer to address and Google’s patent clearly shows how important maps are going to address those challenges.
The full-text of the patent application paper on “Determining Pickup and Destination Locations for Autonomous Vehicles” is available here.
Intel is buying a stake in HERE as part of its focus on self-driving cars
Intel missed out on the mobile computing revolution and it certainly doesn’t plan on repeating the same mistake with Self-driving cars. In a bid to strength its position in the Self-driving car market, the company has announced that it is acquiring a 15% stake in HERE.
Intel isn’t just investing in the mapping expertise that HERE brings. With the investment in HERE, Intel is making it easier for itself to do business with the Audi, BMW, Daimler consortium.
Intel and HERE also signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of a proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of HERE’s HD maps for self-driving cars. Audi, BMW and Mercedes will be testing the architecture. Its going to be interesting to see which other companies participate in this architecture.
“Cars are rapidly becoming some of the world’s most intelligent, connected devices, We look forward to working with HERE and its automotive partners to deliver an important technology foundation for smart and connected cars of the future.” – Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO
Maps are the crucial aspect of Self-driving cars and with the investment in HERE, Intel is well-placed to make sure that it doesn’t miss out on the next big revolution in transportation.