Great Moments in Patents

Ford has patented an augmented reality phone app to inform you that an autonomous murderbot has no intention of stopping at the crosswalk.

US11396271B2: System and method for communicating between autonomous vehicle and vulnerable road users:

The systems and methods disclosed herein are configured and/or programmed to allow communication between an autonomous vehicle (AV) and a vulnerable roadway user (VRU). The communication includes a mobile device display using augmented reality (AR).

A VRU may be, according to described embodiments, a pedestrian, bicyclist, individual mobility vehicle user (e.g., a motorcycle, scooter or the like), or another user that may be severely disadvantaged if involved in a collision with an AV or another vehicle. The VRU may, in some aspects, carry on their person and/or otherwise operate a mobile device instantiating an application configured and/or programmed to interact with nearby vehicles, receive map information, and provide information to the VRU that may assist the user in avoiding harmful collision events with the vehicles. Accordingly, the system described in the present disclosure may include the mobile device, which may be associated with the VRU, and adapted for communication with an AV or other vehicle configured and/or programmed to work with the AR systems described herein as the VRU utilizes roadways and sidewalks the same as or proximate to the vehicles.

VRU, new robot euphemism for "bloodbag" or "meatsack".

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13 Responses:

  1. katre says:

    I don't know what's worse: that someone thought of this, or that if someone else wants to make a phone app to stop me from being run over by robots, Ford will sue them.

  2. JM says:

    Does it matter if the app just pretends to work?

    It's the murderbot's responsibility to not kill the adventurous meatsack after all.

    • Karellen says:

      It's the murderbot's responsibility to not kill the adventurous meatsack

      You would think so, but the history/existence of jaywalking laws in the US suggests that murderbot manufacturers will work very hard to ensure that this is not the case.

    • Michael says:

      Mercedes has already made it clear that their vehicles priority is the survival of their riders. Everybody else be damned.

      And I mean, that shouldn’t surprise. Volvo keeps telling us how they strive for zero deaths..... as long as you are IN their car. If you’re outside? Who care?

      • phuzz says:

        Volvo do actually give a shit:

        “Our vision is zero dead and injured inside and outside Volvos,”

        After all, 'no pedestrian/cyclist deaths on your conscious' is a pretty good selling point.
        • Jim says:

          Yeah, and my vision is that the trolley operator would rather switch to the track with nobody on it, but the data collected by bean counters often isn't enough to ensure that. I'll believe it when I see independent or NTSB tests that they treat pedestrians and bicyclistsas well as their riders.

  3. mike says:

    Dumb question: if a murdermobile is exposing info like location, velocity, ... could that possibly be exploited by a malicious VRU with said mobile device? It'd be a damn shame if murderbots turned into battlebots.

    • k3ninho says:

      If the murderbot has decided based on its readings and the augmented reality app says it can't be persuaded to play nicely in the roadways -- what is there to exploit?


  4. MattyJ says:

    Can it interact with Pokeon GO, though.

  5. thielges says:

    Can we get one that works on human drivers too?  My ability to read minds is weak and thwarted further by those illegal tinted driver side windows.  You can't even see whether the driver is staring at their phone let alone whether they're reviewing their likes or playing a game.

  6. Frandroid says:

    What's to stop anyone from making one where the car always announces that it won't stop

    • Alex says:

      That was my thought, too. The simplest version of the app has object recognition for vehicles, and then just marks it as "will not stop". The next level would be acceleration prediction, and actually state if it's in the process of stopping.

      The evil version has brand recognition, and only says that Ford AVs won't stop.

      No communication needed.

      As it turns out, level 1 has been operating with my un-augmented reality eyeballs as a default system anyway.

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