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Google Patents Autonomous Vehicle UI

By - Source: USPTO | B 13 comments

Google was granted the rights to a user interface for its autonomous vehicle technology.

If you are expecting a futuristic look, you might be disappointed. Google stayed very much with the look and feel of today's dash layout and minor additions of information displays.

As a teenager, I imagined self driving cars to very much work like the taxi cabs in the original 1990 Total Recall movie or Sandra Bullock's police vehicle in 1993's Demolition Man. Today, we are much closer between imagination and reality and know that the actual interface of autonomous vehicles will resemble the appearance of a 1990's car cockpit much more than any designs in science fiction flicks.

Google's patented layout is virtually unchanged from the layout of a standard production car with a navigation screen. The only obvious difference is the addition of an information or status bar "to indicate the current status of vehicle". According to Google, "various other audible and visual indicators may also be employed".

The patent explains that the autonomous mode of a car is almost exclusively based on the computer's ability to determine whether vehicle is at a geographic location that allows safe self driving control. If the computer cannot identify the location, autonomous driving cannot be enabled. There are other hurdles to the autonomous driving function, "such as when the computer detects a plurality of obstacles proximate to the vehicle" and when there is enough driver input that prevents autonomous operation.

Some luxury cars today already offer a function that is very close to Google's autonomous driving model. Lane departure control and prevention, distance and brake control with automated re-acceleration ability are driver assistance feature that can already be purchased, for example, in Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz models that some may consider just one step away from a self driving car.


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  • 18 Hide
    sliem , January 15, 2013 2:53 PM
    downhill911Google Patents Autonomous Vehicle UI because of being worried that APPLE would. LOL


    Apple would what? They can't even make maps right.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    downhill911 , January 15, 2013 2:45 PM
    Google Patents Autonomous Vehicle UI because of being worried that APPLE would. LOL
  • 18 Hide
    sliem , January 15, 2013 2:53 PM
    downhill911Google Patents Autonomous Vehicle UI because of being worried that APPLE would. LOL


    Apple would what? They can't even make maps right.
  • 4 Hide
    house70 , January 15, 2013 3:41 PM
    downhill911Google Patents Autonomous Vehicle UI because of being worried that APPLE would. LOL

    Because they actually made a autonomous vehicle. It's not only an idea they patented, but the actual product. That's how patents should be granted to begin with.
  • 5 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , January 15, 2013 5:11 PM
    Its crazy what I am going to see in my lifetime, can't wait :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Botia , January 15, 2013 5:20 PM
    Coooooooool
  • 2 Hide
    twelch82 , January 15, 2013 5:44 PM
    I hope these are defensive rather than offensive patents, but even a company that currently has a "don't be evil" motto can change at the drop of the hat. You know, founder dies in a plane accident, investors take over and decide to milk the IP for all its worth.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , January 15, 2013 5:59 PM
    sounds about right, in fl we can have self driving cars legally ... still haven't seen any dealerships sellign them though, i hope they make a prius with the option i would be a customer for sure
  • 0 Hide
    robochump , January 15, 2013 6:14 PM
    downhill911Google Patents Autonomous Vehicle UI because of being worried that APPLE would. LOL


    iHaters 2 Cents...lol. I like what Google is doing with auto industry. This is a huge investment in the future and Google may be a major player in automated cars (Smart Cars).
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 15, 2013 8:40 PM
    I wouldn't trust a self driving car until there is a good 10 year track record fo less accidents then manual.

    I wouldn't trust a self driving car in the presence of manual drivers it he biggest problem. Trying to predict unpredictable humans around you.

    Assuming a self driving only area, sensors imbeded into the roads, speed signs, street signs etc. Then i would be happily try it out. I wouldnt trust freeway driving until it was proven safe tho.
  • 0 Hide
    sixdegree , January 15, 2013 11:14 PM
    This certainly isn't good news for taxi drivers, formula one racers, and FedEx.
  • 1 Hide
    husker , January 15, 2013 11:17 PM
    This patent is for the UI, which is the User Interface. NOT the technology of the self driving car. As the article points out, it just looks like a normal UI with an extra status bar. Hardly worthy of a patent and clearly based on designs already in the public domain, including my car.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , January 16, 2013 2:28 AM
    those disembodied arms would really make me 2nd guess my purchase of such a vehicle...
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , January 16, 2013 5:37 AM
    sliemApple would what? They can't even make maps right.

    Me thinks if Apple made autonomous vehicles with Apple maps, a lot of people would die. Their autonomous vehicles would fall off a cliff. What a cleaver way to heard the Apple sheep!