Google now has just added a patent on bus detection for autonomous vehicles. Last week, a driverless Lexus being tested by Google had a low-speed collision with a public bus on February 14.
The company had actually filed for this patent on March 13, 2014, which is well before the collision with the bus, but then it was granted only on March 8, 2016.
Google's patent basically outlines how a school bus is identified, not a public transit bus like in the crash from February. The same method could work though.
The patent shows the autonomous system would compare the sizes of vehicles on the road. Once it detects something large, the software cross check it against the size of a bus.Once the system identifies the bus, the software would help the vehicle to operate more cautiously.
Google's investigation into the February crash lead to a conclusion that human error was slightly to blame. The software detected the bus coming, and the driver noticed the bus, too.
Google has tweaked the system in a way that it won't assume large vehicles like buses will give way to smaller vehicles.