Google is betting big on self-driving vehicles. With several prototypes already in the market and with several test runs already done, the focus has been in making them more reliable and efficient. Now with the help of Google maps, it is looking for identifying pick-up and drop-off points for the passengers for autonomous vehicles.
Google’s recent publication U.S. 20160370194 titled ‘Determining Pickup and Destination Locations for Autonomous Vehicles’, describes how a central dispatch system with a help of user input, can determine pickup points where it is possible to drive the autonomous vehicles for picking up the user. The application ensures that the pickup points are safe enough for an autonomous vehicle to drive and pick or drop the users. This means that if a user has selected a pickup point which is too crowded or difficult to maneuver in autonomous mode, it will suggest nearby or alternate pick up points in real time to the user for them to select and order a ride.
This will also work in a scenario where a user has to take a quick detour for running some errands and then returning back to vehicle within few minutes. The vehicle can wait in a safe spot and also provide hassle-free detour for the passenger. By offering such features, Google is working towards increasing safety and ensuring high availability of the vehicles for the passenger. This invention is surely Google’s answer to Uber’s latest research efforts for autonomous vehicles. Let’s see when this feature gets introduced for real and how effective it turns out.