mordor report

April 2016

A Month After Google’s Car Hit a Bus, Google Got a Patent for Robot Cars to Detect Buses

What did you do after you caused your first car accident? I commiserated with a burly AAA guy before working up the courage to call my father.

Google’s self-driving car invented a tool to ensure never making the mistake again.

Actually, this invention was certainly developed well before the bus accident. (Update: The patent was filed in 2014, but awarded last month.) And that accident involved a public bus, not a school one. Still, the patent reinforces how important it is for Google’s car business that its cars are perceived — by consumers and regulators — as totally safe. Imagine the PR nightmare if it had struck a school bus.

During a South by Southwest talk last week, Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car unit, said the company had implemented some 3,500 tests since the bus bender to ensure that it “won’t happen again.”


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