Google taking giant steps to launch its own self-driving cars
Till now self-driving cars by Google has no commercial use for them. But it can change if the Silicon Valley giant develops an autonomous ride sharing network to compete with Lyft and Uber. Google recently filed a patent application. This application was noticed first earlier this month. Google said that it wants to operate fully self-driving vehicles. The passengers have to provide some information like pick up or destination location and the car maneuvers to that location. All locations are not safe or accessible for the autonomous cars. These vehicles may not be able to drive everywhere a human driven car can. Such as lanes or construction zones for emergency cars.
Google mainly addresses this challenge in the patent application. It said that a centralized dispatching system will provide a set of suggested locations for drop-offs, waiting or safe pick-ups. The patented technology will increase the safety, usefulness and availability of the autonomous vehicles services. Uber directs the passengers to convenient pick-up locations through carpooling features and transit focused products. This is not the first time Google filed a patent application.
The technology company last year was granted a patent for unique solutions. In order to reduce the injuries when a self driving car strikes a pedestrian. It described that an adhesive layer is positioned at the front end of the car. The pedestrians will stick to it during the collision. The self driving fleet of Google, which is operated under the Waymo brand, is in the testing phase. The company has announced to deploy the self driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans at the end of January in Mountain View. Chrysler and Waymo will launch its own autonomous ride sharing service in order to compete with Lyft and Uber. Most likely by utilizing mapping service and Waze traffic data of Google.
John Krafcik is the CEO of Waymo. Last week at the Detroit Auto Show he said that the company was targeting on few products. It includes last mile solutions, personal transportation and ride hailing and logistics. So Google plans to start small by deploying multi sized autonomous fleet in the confined areas. For example, military bases, corporate office parks, and college campuses. This will help Google to get some additional miles before rolling out self driving vehicles into the city streets.
Uber has its smaller fleet of self driving vehicles. It is used to drop off and pick up selected groups of passengers in Pittsburgh. It tried to start a second test fleet in San Francisco. But it was asked to cancel when it refused to apply for an autonomous driving permit from the state. So these cars were shifted to Arizona and there they will offer rides soon. Lyft is working on the self driving ride hailing service as well in partnership with the investor General Motors. Uber and Google might be in direct competition in the ride hailing market. But right now the Silicon Valley giants are just finding its way to collaborate. Google last week announced that the new version of Google Maps is available on iOS and Android. It allows the users to request a ride from Uber.