Google has recently patented a "landing strip" technology for its self-driving cars, which allows the vehicles to go into autonomous mode and find parking spots.
Google first unveiled its self-driving car in Oct 2010 and the company has applied for a patent on a "landing strip" technology which allow the cars to go into auto mode as well as to find parking spots. The patent has been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on 13 December. According to sources, the "landing strip" is more than an embedded sensor in the ground, be it radio, QR code, or some other means of transferring information to the car. The key is the information and how the car uses it. Although Google's self-driving cars use GPS technology to orient themselves, but in certain situations a GPS signal may not be obtainable. The patent also suggests that user could give a set of instruction to the vehicle that commands it to drive itself to specific location.
Source: PC Magazine