Watch out Uber and Lyft, as Google has upped the ante. Rumors are rife that an autonomous ride-sharing network from the company is taking shape and may be launched in the near future.
Google is not new to autonomous technology and while it has its self-driving car, the company has not deployed this technology as a commercial utility.
The current scenario, however, is slowly moving toward some really neat change as suggested by a new patent filing from the company. The patent hints that the company intends to pursue the creation of an autonomous ride-sharing network to compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft.
Google reportedly has filed for a new patent with the USPTO which was spotted by Patent Yogi.
"Google has filed a patent application for efficiently determining pickup and destination locations for autonomous vehicles," notes the website.
The website details the patent and shares that Google apparently intends to use the self-driving cars in a completely autonomous mode. Passengers will merely need to key in the initial input such as where they need to be dropped off or picked up. The Google vehicle would then navigate to the desired location on its own.
Google is reportedly in the process of engaging with establishments like Carnegie Mellon University to promote research for developing the initiative further.
Ride-sharing services are also expected to improve as reflected by Google's announcement on the updated version of Google Maps. This update assists Android and iOS users in requesting rides from Uber through their apps.
Google's Ride-Sharing Network Work
While autonomous vehicles may be able to pick up a passenger from a designated location, kept in mind that not all destinations will be safe or accessible for the self-driving car. An autonomous car will have limitations in the sense that it will not be able to navigate through lanes intended for emergency vehicles or construction zones.
Google it seems has foreseen this hurdle and its patent details how it intends to address this adversity. It will have a "centralized dispatching system" which will give the vehicle a list of suggested locales that are safe for waiting, dropping off or picking up passengers. Many of these locations will include passenger-practical spots where the vehicle is able to halt.
The reliability of the service will, therefore, not be compromised and will enhance vehicle safety, availability and utility, as asserted by the patent filing.