Google self-driving cars to detect police car
Google self-driving cars to detect police cars Reuters

Google's self-driving car would be able to automatically detect approaching police cars and respond to them by moving over to the side of the road, with the sensors the internet giant is creating, reveals a patent filing.

Google, in a patent filing at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) spotted by The Telegraph, explains a system that can recognise flashing lights from emergency vehicles. The sensors can identify any light that is either red or blue.

The technology can further identify whether any vehicle is approaching and if it needs to respond. Once Google's car determines the flashing light corresponds to a police vehicle, the autonomous car can appropriately respond by either slowing down or pulling over to the side of the road. If there is no police vehicle, then Google's car will continue to operate in normal mode.

It can also detect other emergency vehicles such as ambulances through light and sound patterns.

The UK driving law says drivers must park their vehicle at a safe place when police ask them to stop on the road. Rule 219 of the Highway Code Rules "Emergency and Incident Support vehicles" states "driver should look and listen for emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire engines, police and doctors using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights."

While several drivers have been fined for not obeying the law and driving through red light, Google's new technology could help sort out the problem.

Google is at the forefront of developing driverless cars. There are other emerging players in the market. Volvo is gearing up to test its self-driving cars on the roads around London next year.