Driverless cars are the future and we all know we are going to see a lot of them around. The level-4 driverless car could be a reality by 2025 while a fully autonomous car may take more time. Few among us may own them and many of us will be riding in a rented driverless Uber as the company is channelizing its R&D to build a robotic chauffeur.
Also, Uber is not only working to install a driverless car computer under the hood of its cars but it’s really trying to instill all the characteristics and mannerism – in a different sense – in its cabs. A recently published patent application reveals how a driverless car computer tries to adjust vehicle settings as per a rider.
After you will book a ride, the robotic chauffeur by Uber will adjust seat, temperature, seating configuration, radio station, music, interior lighting, and the like.
The driverless car computer of Uber will take ETA into account before making these changes. And based on that, it may decide what to make which change. For example, it may configure seats as per your preferences 30 to 45 seconds before the arrival meanwhile it may initiate the temperature adjust task way before.
As the invention is all about increasing a rider’s comfort, without feedbacks from a user, the objective may not get achieved. And the patent application mentions a way to tackle this issue as well. Plus, the method suggested in the patent is effective use of data.
But how? Ok here we go: if a user gives a below average rating, say 2 stars of 2.5 stars out of five, the data of that trip will be extracted for analysis to find the cause of low rating.
How the robotic chauffeur accelerated during the tip, how it applied brakes, its steering skills, whether it drove too slow or too fast, and the like would be taken into account.
This will help Uber figure out what preferences of a rider. For example, over the time it may figure out that a particular rider prefers a bit of rash driving than a highly cautious one. These things will then be taken into account in his future rides.
About Author: Nitin Balodi is Sr. Research Analyst at GreyB Research, a patent search and analytics firm, that combines machine and human intelligence to derive hidden technological and business insights that are rather difficult to find.