The American car giant General Motors has filed for a patent on a car that can teach you to drive. The move would allow students to jump into a vehicle without an instructor and receive training on public roads.
In the filing, the description of the technology indicates that the autonomous vehicle will constantly interpret the world around it, make its own decisions about the correct input and then compare it to what the driver is doing. This includes looking at their steering and pedal inputs, as well as external factors such as speed and position on the road compared to other vehicles.
An algorithm can then score each of the factors and feed it back to both the driver and third parties. The filing seems to imply that the vehicle can take over one or more aspects of driving if the score falls below a certain threshold.
For example, if the car registers that the driver is braking too late, it may help to slow down or return the car to the center of the lane if they are overdoing it. It can also start by giving new drivers control over some inputs and introducing more as their competence increases. The benefits of such a system are said to be lower costs for those learning to drive, as well as greater availability of driver training as the vehicles can be available 24/7.
Lower costs and improved availability and safety are clear on paper, but it remains to be seen whether regulators believe the idea of teaching people to drive autonomous cars, when students may not feel comfortable alone in the car. Anyway, autonomous cars are currently not legal to drive anywhere in the world outside of very specific testing conditions, so autonomous cars for learners will be a long way off.
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