Ford patent: taking control of a driverless vehicle to be like a video game

It’s 2045. You’re getting driven by a driverless Ford robotaxi. Suddenly, bad things happen! The robotaxi is not responding. You’ll have to take over. You haven’t driven a vehicle in 15 years, but it’s necessary. Problem: there’s no steering wheel. No gas pedals. You’ll use… your phone?

With Ford, it might be as simple as pulling out your phone. The company obtained a US patent for two driving modes that would use a touchscreen device to steer an otherwise autonomous vehicle once you receive permission. The first mode would mimic the tilt-to-steer mechanic from video games like Real Racing 3 — your device’s accelerometer and gyroscope would guide the front wheels. It’d be intuitive, if a little disconcerting when it would involve a ton of real metal hurtling down the road. The second mode wouldn’t be quite so involved. Instead, you’d use your finger to turn an on-screen steering wheel.

A little disconcerting? Let’s go ahead and file this one under bad good ideas.

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