Self-Driving Date Car


Reference #: 01424

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a Self-Driving Date Car


Most automobile manufacturers are currently involved in developing self-driving cars. Billions of dollars are being spent every year and the technology is progressing rapidly. Rideshare companies are also surpassing traditional taxi services and taking over the market. Companies such as Uber are working towards autonomous rideshare vehicles as a means of cost-effective transport. 

Invention Description:

This invention combines self-driving automobile technology and cognitive systems technology to produce a virtual chaperone—an autonomous self-driving vehicle that is able to transport passengers to and from a destination while also supervising the behavior and well-being of the passengers. The Date Car will be able to chaperone teenagers as they embark on a traditional “date” being an outing involving one or more people and a destination (e.g. movie, restaurant, event, etc.). An autonomous self-driving car also reduces the risk of passengers being assaulted by rideshare drivers. The Date Car will be able to transport anyone, children, adult, or the elderly, to and from any appointment including but not limited to: doctor/dentist appointment, lesson, practice, recital, play date, school. One can imagine the branding for other types of trips being different. For example, transporting an elderly person to a doctor's appointment may be called the “Appointment Car” or some other phrase. Regardless of the purpose of the trip, the Well Being Module described herein can monitor an elderly person as well as an underage child. A self-driving car with appropriate provisions for accessibility by disabled or elderly individuals will allow them more independence than currently possible. 

Potential Applications:

Any kind of situation involving the transportation of one or more individuals from one location to another with the requirement of monitoring the well-being and behavior of the passengers is an application of the Date Car. Goldman Sachs foresees the ridesharing/ride-hailing market to reach nearly $300 billion by 2030 ultimately disrupting the traditional taxi market. Demand for an autonomous rideshare vehicle will only increase in the future. Any self-driving car manufacturer or service employing automobiles could develop the Date Car as a product or service.

Advantages and Benefits:

Current rideshare options like Uber and Lyft have adult people as drivers. While human drivers offer some measure of assurance for parents, most parents would not entrust their teenagers on a date with an unknown adult driver. On the other side, parents are unlikely to entrust their loved ones to a self-driving car without adult supervision. The Date Car provides driverless service while ensuring the safety of passengers.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Vehicular Passenger Monitoring System Utility United States 17/569,776 11,912,285 1/6/2022 2/27/2024   Notice of Allowance
For Information, Contact:
Lacie Cottrill
Technology Associate
University of South Carolina
Ron Fulbright
Autonomous cars
Cognitive systems
Self-driving cars
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