Self-driving is a hot topic for the past couple of years. Many companies are sweating to make a self-driving vehicle but they are still struggling on level 3 driving.
The companies have been spending tons of money on R&D for autonomous driving yet haven’t found many improvements.
Still companies like Uber, Waymo are doing quite a planning for the future when self-driving would be mainstream. And there isn’t a need for a driver to pick and drop you from one location to another.
Not just ride-sharing companies, but automakers are along investing their research on ride-sharing technology.
A couple of months ago, we found that GM filed a patent application for a self-driving car that will recognize a hand gesture to call a cab.
GM is not alone, Ford is also doing research on ride-sharing technology and come up with an idea to make ride-sharing service better when self-driving will become mainstream.
IN a recent USPTO publication, one of Ford’s patent applications discusses providing an option to a user to select a seat in a ride-sharing environment.
The patent discloses that with no driver there will be 4 seats available to choose if another user hasn’t chosen a seat yet.
A user can choose any seat be it driver or passenger or back seat (left or right) depends on availability.
This isn’t which we describe an amazing feature but small features like this differentiate one service from another. It might seem good to someone and for someone, it seems worthless especially for other any seats would work as long as the cab is able to reach a person to its destination.
Another thing is why Ford, like GM, is interested in ride-hailing. Self-driving makes more sense to ride-hailing services as we have seen in most of the movies but I think self-driving personal vehicles would also be a great market.
For automakers like Ford, ride-hailing is a new area and they might not get enough success there but the automaker is surely doing good in personal vehicles. And in terms of personal vehicles, Tesla would be its competitor rather than Uber and Lyft.