Thursday

Google's Driverless Cars Mindful of Wayward Cows

Bovines rejoice, Google has patented a process to make it's driverless cars cow-friendly (or indeed any large animal-friendly). Besides just slowing down and stopping when coming upon a cow in the road, if the cow (or herd of cows, sheep, etc) does not move in a certain time, the car will try move around the obstacle, providing the way is clear. I think I would have taken control of the wheel myself by then, but still...
The trick is to develop a system that can tell when you're behind an immovable object, and when you happen to be just stuck in really bad traffic or in a parking lot. A lot of the particulars of Google's system are still up in the air, but it will probably involve a sensor that can detect an obstacle in the road (some of the patent images feature a sensor mounted on the car's roof) and a timer that can tell how long the car has been sitting there.
Did you ever think we would be worrying about cow avoidance for your driverless car?

No, you mooove!


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