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New Google patent takes tech giant step closer to self-driving cars

The patent aims to address issues related to pick up or drop off locations.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has recently filed a patent to determine pickup and destination locations for autonomous vehicles, suggesting that it may be looking to deploy self-driving technology in the ride-sharing space, taking an aim at Uber and Lyft.

The new patent-pending technology is aimed at improving the availability, safety, and usefulness of the services of autonomous vehicles.

Google said that self-driving cars operate in a fully autonomous mode by taking instructions from passengers about pick up or destination locations.

However, there are limitations with regard to accessibility of locations for passenger pick up or drop off.

Autonomous vehicles may also not be able to go everywhere a human driven vehicle can. The vehicles may particularly find difficulties in road conditions such as construction, emergency services activity, and speed limits, Patent Yogi reported.

In order to address to these issues, the search engine has come up with a new system.

The patent application titled “Determining Pickup and Destination Locations for Autonomous Vehicles” was submitted on 22 December last year.

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Through the new technology, Google plans to suggest alternate locations that are relatively near to the original pickup or drop off autonomous cars


Google said in the patent application: “One aspect of the disclosure provides a system. The system may include memory storing detailed map information identifying a plurality of predetermined locations where a vehicle is able to pick up or drop off passengers. The system may also include one or more server computers each having one or more processors.

“The one or more server computers may be configured to; receive a request from a client computing device, the request identifying a first location; select a set of one of more suggested locations by comparing the predetermined locations to the first location; and provide the set of one or more suggested locations to the client computing device.”

In September last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was planning to launch a ride-sharing service to commuters in San Francisco, rivaling the dominant player in the space, Uber Technologies.

Google rolled out Waze app, on a pilot basis, for the thousands of workers around its California headquarters in May, allowing them to share the ride.

The search major has also added an update to its map which will allow its Map users hail ride through services like Uber, Lyft, without leaving the app.

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