General Motors patents autonomous cars that can teach trainee drivers

With the current leaps and bounds in technologies that mankind is making, a future filled with autonomous cars is undeniable. However, to take things up a notch, the American multinational automotive manufacturing giant General Motors has come up with something even more radical. The Detroit-based carmaker is recently said to have submitted a patent application for a system that would employ self-driving cars to teach new or inexperienced drivers.

General Motors patents autonomous cars that can teach trainee drivers

According to a media report, General Motors submitted an application named “Methods & Systems to Autonomously Train Drivers.” and numbered US 2022/0114909, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

With this ambitious new system, GM envisions that the student driver’s control inputs would be constantly monitored and compared with “one or more recommended actions for the autonomous vehicle.” According to the application, the system would utilise sensors to detect the student driver’s manual inputs and compare them to the self-driving algorithm’s recommended response. The technology would also be able to provide learners with real-time feedback depending on their contributions.

GM also claims that the technology would also allow trainee drivers to control certain features selectively in order to better educate them in specific aspects of driving. While specifics aren’t known as of yet, sources claim that these capabilities might involve steering inputs, throttle or brake application, and lane change manoeuvres, among various other things.

The patent application further states that using a human teacher “may not always be ideal.” In certain cases, human instruction may bring biases, “and/or maybe more time consuming, costly, and/or difficult to schedule, and/or may contain dangers and/or inefficiencies.” Aside from assessing the student driver’s inputs against the AV’s algorithms, the system might also provide the student-selected control over the car, for as enabling them to steer but not accelerate or brake.

Although, the application does also take into account that while autonomous vehicles “provide several potential advantages over traditional automobiles,” there may be legitimate reasons to train a person to drive without depending on the AV’s capabilities. The application stated that there might be instances when a person wishes to drive “for personal enjoyment,” and other times when an AV is either unavailable or not authorised to function in a specific region.

General Motors patents autonomous cars that can teach trainee drivers

In other General Motors news, earlier this month, General Motors (GM) and the Japanese multinational conglomerate – Honda Motor Company announced the onset of their new collaboration to codevelop a series of affordable electric vehicles based on a new global architecture. The two companies will be using the next-generation Ultium battery technology in the forthcoming operation.

Furthermore, GM and Honda will examine future EV battery technology cooperation opportunities in order to reduce the cost of electrification while enhancing performance and assuring future vehicle sustainability. The two businesses will collaborate to enable the global manufacture of millions of electric vehicles, particularly tiny crossovers. The activities will begin in 2027 by integrating both companies’ technology, design, and sourcing techniques.

In addition, the companies will work together to standardise equipment and procedures in order to achieve world-class quality, higher throughput, and reduced costs. The focus of this collaboration will be mostly on compact crossovers, as this vehicle class has the world’s largest market with annual sales of more than 13 million automobiles.