Amazon Patents Lane Assignments For Autonomous Vehicles

lane assignments autonomous vehicles
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Vehicle automation has shifted gears in the recent years and technology companies have brought about a revolution in autonomous vehicles. Seamless driving in an autonomous car has been the goal for both users and manufacturers.

It means that there is no longer the need for someone to drive the car for you. It’s like giving brain to the car and let it do all the work for you. There are many companies in the world that have implemented this technology in the real world. Two of the biggest companies Google and Tesla is focusing a lot on creating driverless cars.

At the same time, Amazon has also hinted that it might try to enter the market as it applied for the patent of Lane assignments for autonomous vehicles on 19th November 2015. This will be a big news for all the people as Amazon is already trying to implement drones for transporting goods from one place to other.

Why lane assignments?

The autonomous vehicles are the last thing in the transport field. But there might be the case where the vehicle has to go through reversible lane. The use of the reversible lane is also increasing as it facilitates much easier transportation. This is where autonomous vehicles might have the problem.

The autonomous vehicles may not have the information about the reversible lane when approaching a portion of the road that has the reversible lane. There may be the case where the vehicle may be unaware of the optimal lane at which to enter a roadway that has the reversible roadway.

Source: The United States Patent and Trademark Office

How will it be useful?

There will be a roadway management system that could generate lane configuration for a roadway or the portion of the roadway. The roadway management system could then determine the direction of travel for lanes in roadways. It could also direct the autonomous vehicle to enter the roadway in a particular lane which will optimize the route of the vehicle.

Source: The United States Patent and Trademark Office

To understand the whole process we need to understand what are these autonomous vehicles? The autonomous vehicles could be a driverless car. These could be a passenger vehicle, a commercial vehicle, law enforcement vehicle, emergency vehicle, or be it any other vehicle. The autonomous vehicle can also include vehicles that are not traditional thought of as transport vehicle.

For example, the autonomous vehicle can include a trash dumpster, a vacuum cleaner, a lawn mower or be it another utility vehicle that could be equipped with a drive system and component that facilitate navigation through roadways.

The autonomous vehicles can be coordinated with roadways management systems associated with roadway network. The roadway management system can configure lanes of roadways. It can also assign usage of lanes within the roadway to the autonomous vehicle based on the capability of the autonomous vehicle, the speed of the vehicle, the destination of the vehicle, the number of people in the vehicle, the direction of travel and many other factors.

An autonomous vehicle can request usage of a portion of a roadway from roadway management system that is tasked with the managing the portion of the roadway by submitting the request to use the roadway to the roadway management system over a network. A roadway management system can assign the usage of a roadway to the autonomous vehicle by assigning a particular lane in a portion of a roadway during a particular period of time and a particular velocity range.

What next?

The next thing for the Amazon would be to implement this technology in the real life scenario. The driverless cars are not very far away from being popular. At the current moment, it’s not clear that what the future plans of amazon are.

But as the things are shaping out it’s looking like that they are going to enter the market of the driverless car. If this would be the case then they could expect a great competition in that field. Also, there are many sources that are indicating that they would not only limit themselves to go for the driverless car. They might go with the several automation devices that could use the technology of lane assignments.

Also Read: Race To Self Driving Technology – Companies That Are Shifting Gears In The Automobile Market