Another day, another headline about Google taking steps to revolutionize the driving experience. New information about the future of driving came forward yesterday as Google's latest patent application was published.
The patent, which was filed in May 2014, describes a system in which vehicles can be operated by handheld devices. According to the application, the portable computing device will execute software that enables individuals within the vehicle to perform control actions that "would otherwise take a flip of a switch, turning of a knob, or pressing of a pedal". These tasks include everything from activating the car's interior lights and readjusting the radio to steering and applying the brakes.
Some capabilities will be location specific, however. For example, you may be able to drive your car only if the device is "located in the area of the driver seat". The application also lists that control of the entertainment system would be accessible only when the device is being used by the driver or co-pilot.
Listed as examples of handheld devices include a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a portable gaming device. Some form of wireless connection will be necessary to link the device to the vehicle.
While the technology is one of many advances Google is making in the automobile space, the system may have other benefits. According to the 2010 US Census, one in five people have a disability. The Census found that nearly 30.6 million people were listed as having difficulty walking or climbing stairs, or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker. Another 19.9 million had difficulty lifting and grasping. Perhaps this will make those with physical ailments more independent by allowing them to operate a vehicle successfully through touch-screen technology.
Read the complete US Patent application here. For more information about Google's Self-Driving Project click here.
Are you intrigued by new technology in the auto-world? This video is for you!