Google Driverless Car
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval takes a spin in a driverless car on July 20, 2011 in Carson City, Nev. Sandoval describes the experience as "amazing." The governor took the test run with Google engineer and DMV Director Bruce Breslow.

Google has been granted a U.S. patent for driverless cars.

The Internet search giant filed for the intellectual rights to the technology that can switch the car from a human-controlled mode to self-driving. Under the technology, the vehicle has a system to guide itself on where it is positioned, when to take the control of the wheel and which direction to proceed.

The mechanism is guided by two sets of sensors, the first of which locates a "landing strip" where the car stops. The second gathers information on its exact location and the direction to proceed.

"The landing strip allows a human driving the vehicle to know acceptable parking places for the vehicle. Additionally, the landing strip may indicate to the vehicle that it is parked in a region where it may transition into autonomous mode," according to the patent filing as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

The filing for the patent of the Transitioning a Mixed-mode Vehicle to Autonomous Mode was made early this year, but the details were not disclosed until last week.

Self-driving cars were legalised in Nevada in June, in a major victory for Google's innovations. The automated vehicles employ radar, video cams and lasers to navigate the traffic, the Los Angeles Times has noted.