Post several controversies surrounding the safety of Google’s self driving cars, the search giant has today received a patent which will allow its self-driving cars to interact with pedestrians to avoid collisions. The patent, which was filed in September 2012, was granted in November this year. It describes ways to show messages to pedestrians, such as a red flash light, a display sign reading STOP on the left side of the car when it detects someone trying to cross the road or even the possibility of a robotic arm which will wave gestures. It also outlines a speaker system which may play messages such as “coming through” or “safe to cross” while unsure of its surroundings.
In the beginning of this year, self-driving cars became a cause of controversy when it was reported that they were involved in some accidents. However, in June this year, Google co-founder Sergey Brin addressed the issue at company’s annual stockholder meeting detailing what kinds of accidents the cars had seen up to that point and assuring that they were not the fault of self -driving cars.
Since then, the company has also been publishing monthly reports about the distance self-driving cars have covered so far and the number of accidents occurred to keep the public informed about the self-driving cars. According to one such latest report, in the two months there have been zero accidents and the cars have driven more than 100,000 miles of distance.
This latest patent is surely expected to further allow the company to incorporate more safety measures and ensure the public about the safety of these cars.