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Europcar ‘excited’ by Google's new driverless technology patent

By Kyle Lindsay
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 12:30

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EXCITED: Lexus are also pioneering driverless cars

Europcar are ‘excited’ by newly-patented technology which enables a robot within a car to automatically interpret road signs and oncoming obstacles.

Won by Google, the patent advanced their self-drive capabilities, with Europcar claiming it could have huge benefits for their fleet’s safety credentials.

The new development also enables the Google Car to follow any diversions put in place and check for oncoming vehicles.

All new features have been made possible by last year’s $1.3billion acquisition of Waze, with the social mapping company providing Google with real-time traffic and accident information.

Google’s driverless vehicles have travelled 300,000miles autonomously without incident during test runs.

“This is a really exciting time to be living in, with these sorts of developments making concepts that would have been laughed at a few years ago a real possibility.”

Ken McCall, Europcar

Ken McCall, Managing Director of Europcar UK Group, said: “This is a really exciting time to be living in, with these sorts of developments making concepts that would have been laughed at a few years ago a real possibility in the near future.

“At Europcar we have always been first to embrace new technology – and I am personally excited by the prospect of having Google do the driving for me!

“Although it’s fun to step in the realms of the future with the possibility of unmanned vehicles, there is a serious side too.

“This innovation could ease some of the doubts about the safety of driverless technology, thereby increasing the likelihood it will happen.

“Who knows what the future will bring for our roads, but whatever it does, you can be sure Europcar will be watching closely.”

Image courtesy of Highways Agency, with thanks.

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