Pony AI Inc. (Grand Cayman, KY)

The system and the computer-implemented method of driving an autonomous car are described. The system is able to receive a request to meet an individual at a specific location and drive the vehicle to the location; identify the person in the vicinity; and providing instructions for the individual to communicate with the vehicle.

Autonomous vehicles are slowly replacing vehicles and other services operated by people. A fully autonomous taxi, for example, will not need drivers. A fully autonomous delivery vehicle will not need a driver to deliver the product to a client. Human operators can interact with their customers as well as other individuals via different methods depending on the specific requirements of each. For instance, if a person is visually impaired, the might use voice to talk to the blind customer. If the environment is too for a human to hear, the operator may use gestures or screen to communicate with the blind customer.

An autonomous-driving vehicle, however might have issues to meet the demands of different users. For the moment, autonomous driving cars rely heavily on the ability to communicate with handheld devices like a smartphone. However, a smartphone may not be as intuitive or effective in certain situations. If several vehicles that have similar appearances approach a customer’s home and they are capable of identifying the proper one. This can become even more difficult when the person is impaired in communications capabilities, like being blind.

The above and other issues can be dealt with, solved, and/or diminished using techniques described in this document. The above examples of related art and the limitations associated to them are meant to be examples only and are not exclusive. If you read the specification and look over the drawings, there could be additional limitations to the related art.

Described herein are a system that is part of and a computer-implemented process that is executed by an autonomous vehicle. The system consists of one or more processors and an internal memory which stores instructions. These instructions are executed by one or more processors to receive a request for a meeting with a person at an area that is specified; then drive the vehicle to the location; identify the person; and provide an instruction to the individual to interact with the vehicle.

In certain instances, the instruction comprises the request that the individual authenticate the request. In certain embodiments, the request is made by displaying an action. Certain embodiments require that a person present a portion of their body to the sensor. In certain embodiments, the body part is eyes, faces, or a side of the body. Certain embodiments permit the user to request the code wirelessly through either speaking or typing it.

In some embodiments the instructions can cause the processor to verify the person by confirming the colocation of the individual with a handheld device in wireless communication with the vehicle.

Certain embodiments permit the processor to issue another instruction to the person getting the item off the vehicle. The second instruction can be displayed or spoken in certain examples. In some embodiments, theinstructions also trigger the processor to monitoring objects in the vehicle as it picks them up. Some embodiments of the instructions cause the processor to arrange items for pick-up.

Some embodiments of directed alert notifications can be personalized to the individual. Personalization can, for example is based on a code that is sent wirelessly to the person in advance or on the user’s preference or language choice.

Certain embodiments permit the processor to arrange the remaining items after the pickup. Certain embodiments require the processor to obtain confirmation from the individual who made the pickup was completed.

In some instances, the instructions trigger the processor to, after identifying the individual, issue a directed alert message to the person, and the directed alert notification includes a directed acoustic signal. In some embodiments the directed audio signal is transmitted by at least two sound generating devices (e.g. speakers) in the vehicle. In some embodiments, at least one speaker is located in front of the vehicle, and another is situated at the rear of vehicle. In certain embodiments, the acoustic signal of each speaker is synchronized in such a way as to arrive at the user at the same time.

A few examples of directed alert notification may include a written or visual instruction to inform the person of the arrival of the vehicle.

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