In a recent United States Patent and Trade Mark Filing, GM submitted a design for an autonomous vehicle system designed to measure and train new drivers. This interesting use of autonomous driving tech will be used to judge new drivers and coach them as they learn the basics of driving on public roads. This unique use of autonomous driving technology to train drivers rather than replace them is a new take on the use of this exciting new tech.
The push for autonomous vehicles has captured most of the automotive and tech industry as organizations work to continuously build smarter vehicles that require less driver input. GM defines an autonomous vehicle as a car or truck that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating with very little driver input. GM specifically calls out sensors like lidar, image sensors like cameras, and GPS to name a few.
Although the extensive use of different kinds of sensors has produced smarter vehicles, GM even admits in the patent filing that there may be moments when a human may have to take over and drive without autonomous assistance. GM calls out times when a human may want to drive for personal satisfaction along with instances when the autonomous vehicle is in an environment that it cannot navigate.
To prepare humans for a future where they will need to work together with their autonomous vehicles, GM’s new autonomous driver trainer was born. GM also calls out benefits that include reduced instructor basis, lower cost of teaching, and improved trainer schedule availability. Student success will be measured by the various sensors used by the autonomous vehicle to drive so all trainee inputs will be precisely measured. Based on inputs, the car can provide real-time feedback as it works to train student drivers to properly use things like the brake pedal, steering, wheel, and accelerator to name a few.
The autonomous vehicle will slowly make car features available as the driver becomes more comfortable behind the wheel. This is far different from current driver’s education vehicles that give new drivers full control over the car or truck they are practicing on.