Google has patented their “landing strip” technology for their self-driving cars. The patent application is called ‘transitioning a mixed-mode vehicle to autonomous mode’, which also relates to the car switching from human-driving mode to a driver-less state. The “landing strip” is a code that would help the car access the internet to get locations and directions.
The Google Land Strip patent states, “In some embodiments, a URL stored as a QR Code may enable the autonomous vehicle to download new instructions. A processing unit in the vehicle’s computer may be able to wirelessly access the Internet and retrieve autonomous mode instructions from an updated web location. For example, when accessing the URL, a unique vehicle serial number may be transmitted. The serial number could indicate that vehicle is in need of maintenance and the host may return instructions for the autonomous vehicle to automatically drive itself to the maintenance shop. Additionally, the URL may return instructions to load balance the vehicles.”
Google already presented the idea of their self-driving car in October 2010 and are in advanced stages of development. The Google self-driving car has drove more than 1,000 miles without a driver, but a total of 1 million miles is necessary before they decide it’s good enough. Sebastian Thrun, who leads the dedicated car team at Google, wrote in the patent that Google’s cars have driven more than 200,000 miles without an accident.
The Google self-driving car patent states, “The autonomous vehicle may be used as a virtual tour guide of Millennium Park in Chicago. In the example embodiment, the vehicle may have an instruction to drive to the Cloud Gate (Silver Bean) sculpture at Millennium Park. When the vehicle arrives, the autonomous instruction may tell it to wait in the location for a predetermined amount of time, for example 5 minutes. The instruction may then direct the vehicle to drive to the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park and again wait for 5 minutes. Next, the instruction may tell the vehicle to drive to the Ice Rink at Millennium Park and wait for another predetermined amount of time. Finally, the vehicle instruction may tell the vehicle to return to its starting position.”
“In some embodiments, the vehicle instruction may be a fixed instruction telling the vehicle a single route and timing for the route. In another embodiment, the autonomous instruction may be a list of possible instructions presented to a human in the vehicle. The human may be able to select a point of interest and the vehicle will responsively execute the associated autonomous instruction. In a further embodiment, the vehicle instruction is a single command telling the vehicle to drive itself to one specific location,” added in the patent for a self-driving car from Google.
Google Self Driving Car Video: