Google's self-driving cars aims to talk to pedestrians and motorists
By Staff Writer
Google is working on its new technology that will enable totally driverless cars to roam around on the roads. But a driverless car also raises a question about passenger and cars safety, which Google has seriously considered now.
According to Slash Gear, Google is much cautioned about the safety of pedestrians through its self-driving cars. There are a number of steps which Google took in account of altercation with a cyclist at crossroads or just driving so slowly that they get pulled over.
However, in order for other drivers to accommodate and make room, a vehicle needs to show bit aggressiveness at certain times. A four-way stop could be one example. Google has a solution to this problem and recently the company has received a patent that would enable the vehicles to communicate their intentions to pedestrians and other cars.
Google's ideas to maintain the safety of the nearby pedestrians and other drivers mainly includes things like signs and lights on the car. The signs would communicate the intentions of the autonomous vehicle without the need to be overly aggressive.
"The vehicle may include sensors which detect an object such as a pedestrian attempting or about to cross the roadway in front of the vehicle," the patent says (PDF). "The vehicle's computer may then determine the correct way to respond to the pedestrian. [...] The vehicle may then provide a notification to the pedestrian of what the vehicle is going to do or is currently doing."
As mentioned by Tech Times, a patent awarded by The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a "pedestrian notifications" application involves notification in the form of voice alerts from speakers on the outside of the car. Possible voice alerts may include "safe to cross" or "coming through" signs.
The placement of the side screens outside of the car, for instance on the door displays the traditional traffic sign that allows pedestrians to cross. It may show a safety text message. The car can also communicate with other motorists on the road by placing the screen on the hood of the car or the bumper.
Google also aim to add robotic hands and eyes to its cars that could impersonate human gestures to communicate with the pedestrians. However, it's still not revealed how Google plans to implement this. Google's self-driving cars aim to make the roads safer for motorists and pedestrians.
As reported by Tech Radar, autonomous automobiles are developing at a rapid rate, but self-driving vehicles still have to cover a long way before being legally allowed on the roads. However, like Google's other patents for its self-driving car fleet, such as the one for external airbags.
However, besides Google, all the major manufacturers are working on self-driving car technology and are busy trying to revolutionize software and hardware. Autonomous cars are believed to hit the roads to some extend within the next five years.