Patents by Inventor Joshua Seth Herbach

Joshua Seth Herbach has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10848938
    Abstract: The technology relates to actively looking for an assigned passenger prior to a vehicle 100 reaching a pickup location. For instance, information identifying the pickup location and client device information for authenticating the assigned passenger is received. Sensor data is received from a perception system (172) of the vehicle identifying objects in an environment of the vehicle. When the vehicle is within a predetermined distance (represented by distance bar 772) from the pickup location (represented by marker 770), authenticating a client device (420, 430) using the client device information is attempted. When the client device has been authenticated, the sensor data is used to determine whether a pedestrian (750, 752) is within a first threshold distance (D1) of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Philip Nemec, Renaud-Roland Hubert, Joshua Seth Herbach, Min Li Chan, Michael Epstein, Salil Pandit, John Wesley Dyer, Juliet Rothenberg
  • Patent number: 10838417
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to controlling a vehicle in an autonomous driving mode. The system includes a plurality of sensors configured to generate sensor data. The system also includes a first computing system configured to generate trajectories using the sensor data and send the generated trajectories to a second computing system. The second computing system is configured to cause the vehicle to follow a receive trajectory. The system also includes a third computing system configured to, when there is a failure of the first computer system, generate and send trajectories to the second computing system based on whether a vehicle is located on a highway or a surface street.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Emily Chi, Ryan Joseph Andrade, Michael James, Ioan-Alexandru Sucan, Christopher Kennedy Ludwick, Joshua Seth Herbach, Misha Balakhno, Andrew Barton-Sweeney
  • Publication number: 20200341478
    Abstract: A route for a trip to a destination is generated using map information. A set of no-go roadway segments, where the vehicle is not able to drive in an autonomous mode, relevant to the route from the plurality of no-go roadway segments is identified from the map information. A local region around a current location of the vehicle is determined. A local map region including roadway segments of the map information that correspond to locations within the local region is determined. The set of the plurality of no-go roadway segments is filtered from the roadway segments of the local map region. A cost value is assigned to each roadway segment of the filtered roadway segments of the local map region. Any assigned cost values are used to determining a plan for maneuvering the vehicle for a predetermined period into the future. The vehicle is maneuvered according to the plan.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2020
    Publication date: October 29, 2020
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach
  • Patent number: 10796581
    Abstract: Aspects of the present disclosure relate to a system having a memory, a plurality of self-driving systems for controlling a vehicle, and one or more processors. The processors are configured to receive at least one fallback task in association with a request for a primary task and at least one trigger of each fallback task. Each trigger is a set of conditions that, when satisfied, indicate when a vehicle requires attention for proper operation. The processors are also configured to send instructions to the self-driving systems to execute the primary task and receive status updates from the self-driving systems. The processors are configured to determine that a set of conditions of a trigger is satisfied based on the status updates and send further instructions based on the associated fallback task to the self-driving systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Joshua Seth Herbach, Philip Nemec, Nathaniel Fairfield
  • Publication number: 20200292333
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure provide systems and methods for providing suggested locations for pick up and destination locations. Pick up locations may include locations where an autonomous vehicle can pick up a passenger, while destination locations may include locations where the vehicle can wait for an additional passenger, stop and wait for a passenger to perform some task and return to the vehicle, or for the vehicle to drop off a passenger. As such, a request for a vehicle may be received from a client computing device. The request may identify a first location. A set of one or more suggested locations may be selected by comparing the predetermined locations to the first location. The set may be provided to the client computing device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2020
    Publication date: September 17, 2020
    Inventors: Peter Colijn, Joshua Seth Herbach, Matthew Paul McNaughton
  • Publication number: 20200264003
    Abstract: A route is selected for travel by an autonomous vehicle based on at least a level of difficulty of traversing the driving environment along that route. Vehicle signals, provided by one or more autonomous vehicles, indicating a difficulty associated with traveling a portion of a route are collected and used to predict a most favorable driving route for a given time. The signals may indicate a probability of disengaging from autonomous driving mode, a probability of being stuck for an unduly long time, traffic density, etc. A difficulty score may be computed for each road segment of a route, and then the scores of all of the road segments of the route are added together. The scores are based on number of previous disengagements, previous requests for remote assistance, unprotected left or right turns, whether parts of the driving area are occluded, etc. The difficulty score is used to compute a cost for a particular route, which may be compared to costs computed for other possible routes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2020
    Publication date: August 20, 2020
    Inventors: Dietmar Ebner, Joshua Seth Herbach, Michael Steven Montemerlo
  • Publication number: 20200264612
    Abstract: Aspects of the present disclosure relate to context aware stopping of a vehicle without a driver. As an example, after a passenger has entered the vehicle, the vehicle is maneuvered by one or more processors in an autonomous driving mode towards a destination location along a route. The route is divided into two or more stages. A signal is received by the one or more processors. The signal indicates that the passenger is requesting that the vehicle stop or pull over. In response to the signal, the one or more processors determine a current stage of the route based on a current distance of the vehicle from a pickup location where the passenger entered the vehicle or a current distance of the vehicle from the destination location. The one or more processors then stop the vehicle in accordance with the determined current stage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2020
    Publication date: August 20, 2020
    Inventors: John Wesley Dyer, Luis Torres, Michael Epstein, Guillaume Dupre, Joshua Seth Herbach
  • Patent number: 10718622
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure provide systems and methods for providing suggested locations for pick up and destination locations. Pick up locations may include locations where an autonomous vehicle can pick up a passenger, while destination locations may include locations where the vehicle can wait for an additional passenger, stop and wait for a passenger to perform some task and return to the vehicle, or for the vehicle to drop off a passenger. As such, a request for a vehicle may be received from a client computing device. The request may identify a first location. A set of one or more suggested locations may be selected by comparing the predetermined locations to the first location. The set may be provided to the client computing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Peter Colijn, Joshua Seth Herbach, Matthew Paul McNaughton
  • Publication number: 20200201355
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to assigning a fleet of driverless vehicles to a plurality of parking locations for parking vehicles of the fleet. For instance, locations of the vehicles of the fleet as well as a number of available spaces at each of the plurality of parking location locations may be tracked. A subset of the fleet not already located at one of the plurality of parking locations is identified. At least one assignment assigning each vehicle of the subset to a respective parking location of the plurality of parking locations is determined according to the numbers of available spaces and the identified locations of the subset. For the at least one assignment, a total cost is determined by determining a cost value for each of a plurality of factors. The given assignment is sent to the fleet based on the total cost and the cost value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Publication date: June 25, 2020
    Inventors: Peter Colijn, Laurens Andreas Feenstra, Joshua Seth Herbach, Katharine Patterson
  • Patent number: 10691131
    Abstract: A route for a trip to a destination is generated using map information. A set of no-go roadway segments, where the vehicle is not able to drive in an autonomous mode, relevant to the route from the plurality of no-go roadway segments is identified from the map information. A local region around a current location of the vehicle is determined. A local map region including roadway segments of the map information that correspond to locations within the local region is determined. The set of the plurality of no-go roadway segments is filtered from the roadway segments of the local map region. A cost value is assigned to each roadway segment of the filtered roadway segments of the local map region. Any assigned cost values are used to determining a plan for maneuvering the vehicle for a predetermined period into the future. The vehicle is maneuvered according to the plan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach
  • Publication number: 20200192385
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to arranging a pickup between a driverless vehicle and a passenger. For instance, dispatch instructions dispatching the vehicle to a predetermined pickup area in order to pick up the passenger are received by the vehicle which begins maneuvering to the predetermined pickup area. While doing so, the vehicle receives from the passenger's client computing device the device's location. An indication that the passenger is interested in a fly-by pickup is identified. The fly-by pickup allows the passenger to safely enter the vehicle at a location outside of the predetermined pickup area and prior to the one or more processors have maneuvered the vehicle to the predetermined pickup area. The vehicle determines that the fly-by pickup is appropriate based on at least the location of the client computing device and the indication, and based on the determination, maneuvers itself in order to attempt the fly-by pickup.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2020
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach, Christopher Kennedy Ludwick, Matthew Paul McNaughton, Renaud-Roland Hubert, Jennifer Arden, Min Li Chan
  • Patent number: 10684134
    Abstract: A route is selected for travel by an autonomous vehicle based on at least a level of difficulty of traversing the driving environment along that route. Vehicle signals, provided by one or more autonomous vehicles, indicating a difficulty associated with traveling a portion of a route are collected and used to predict a most favorable driving route for a given time. The signals may indicate a probability of disengaging from autonomous driving mode, a probability of being stuck for an unduly long time, traffic density, etc. A difficulty score may be computed for each road segment of a route, and then the scores of all of the road segments of the route are added together. The scores are based on number of previous disengagements, previous requests for remote assistance, unprotected left or right turns, whether parts of the driving area are occluded, etc. The difficulty score is used to compute a cost for a particular route, which may be compared to costs computed for other possible routes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Dietmar Ebner, Joshua Seth Herbach, Michael Steven Montemerlo
  • Publication number: 20200166935
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to controlling a vehicle in an autonomous driving mode. For instance, a first location corresponding to a location where the vehicle is to pick up or drop off a passenger is received. A first cost for the vehicle to reach the first location is determined. A second location based on the first location is identified, and a second cost is determined based on a cost for the vehicle to reach the second location and a cost for the passenger to reach the second location. The first cost is compared to the second cost, and a notification is sent based on the notification. In response to sending the notification, instructions to proceed to the second location are received, and in response to receiving the instructions, the vehicle is controlled in the autonomous driving mode to the second location to pick up or drop off the passenger.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2019
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Inventors: Joshua Seth Herbach, Michael Epstein, Mishika Vora, Guillaume Dupre, Kevin Rawlings
  • Publication number: 20200142403
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to controlling a vehicle in an autonomous driving mode. The system includes a plurality of sensors configured to generate sensor data. The system also includes a first computing system configured to generate trajectories using the sensor data and send the generated trajectories to a second computing system. The second computing system is configured to cause the vehicle to follow a receive trajectory. The system also includes a third computing system configured to, when there is a failure of the first computer system, generate and send trajectories to the second computing system based on whether a vehicle is located on a highway or a surface street.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2018
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Inventors: Emily Chi, Ryan Joseph Andrade, Michael James, Ioan-Alexandru Sucan, Christopher Kennedy Ludwick, Joshua Seth Herbach, Misha Balakhno, Andrew Barton-Sweeney
  • Patent number: 10627815
    Abstract: Aspects of the present disclosure relate to context aware stopping of a vehicle without a driver. As an example, after a passenger has entered the vehicle, the vehicle is maneuvered by one or more processors in an autonomous driving mode towards a destination location along a route. The route is divided into two or more stages. A signal is received by the one or more processors. The signal indicates that the passenger is requesting that the vehicle stop or pull over. In response to the signal, the one or more processors determine a current stage of the route based on a current distance of the vehicle from a pickup location where the passenger entered the vehicle or a current distance of the vehicle from the destination location. The one or more processors then stop the vehicle in accordance with the determined current stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: John Wesley Dyer, Luis Torres, Michael Epstein, Guillaume Dupre, Joshua Seth Herbach
  • Patent number: 10591916
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to arranging a pickup between a driverless vehicle and a passenger. For instance, dispatch instructions dispatching the vehicle to a predetermined pickup area in order to pick up the passenger are received by the vehicle which begins maneuvering to the predetermined pickup area. While doing so, the vehicle receives from the passenger's client computing device the device's location. An indication that the passenger is interested in a fly-by pickup is identified. The fly-by pickup allows the passenger to safely enter the vehicle at a location outside of the predetermined pickup area and prior to the one or more processors have maneuvered the vehicle to the predetermined pickup area. The vehicle determines that the fly-by pickup is appropriate based on at least the location of the client computing device and the indication, and based on the determination, maneuvers itself in order to attempt the fly-by pickup.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach, Christopher Kennedy Ludwick, Matthew Paul McNaughton, Renaud-Roland Hubert, Jennifer Arden, Min Li Chan
  • Patent number: 10545023
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to providing pickup or drop off locations for transport services. In one example relating to a pickup location, a preferred location is identified. A plurality of possible locations is determined based on the preferred location and a set of heuristics including identifying at least one point on an opposite side of a roadway as the preferred location. For each given possible location of the plurality of possible locations, a route between a current location of a vehicle and that given possible location is determined. For each given possible location of the plurality of possible locations a cost value for the determined route of that given possible location is determined. A possible location is selected based on the determined cost values and provided as a pickup or drop off location for a passenger or cargo.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: WAYMO LLC
    Inventors: Joshua Seth Herbach, Nathaniel Fairfield
  • Patent number: 10545510
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to assigning a fleet of driverless vehicles to a plurality of parking locations for parking vehicles of the fleet. For instance, locations of the vehicles of the fleet as well as a number of available spaces at each of the plurality of parking location locations may be tracked. A subset of the fleet not already located at one of the plurality of parking locations is identified. At least one assignment assigning each vehicle of the subset to a respective parking location of the plurality of parking locations is determined according to the numbers of available spaces and the identified locations of the subset. For the at least one assignment, a total cost is determined by determining a cost value for each of a plurality of factors. The given assignment is sent to the fleet based on the total cost and the cost value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: WAYMO LLC
    Inventors: Peter Colijn, Laurens Andreas Feenstra, Joshua Seth Herbach, Katharine Patterson
  • Publication number: 20200019166
    Abstract: Example systems and methods enable an autonomous vehicle to request assistance from a remote operator when the vehicle's confidence in operation is low. One example method includes operating an autonomous vehicle in a first autonomous mode. The method may also include identifying a situation where a level of confidence of an autonomous operation in the first autonomous mode is below a threshold level. The method may further include sending a request for assistance to a remote assistor, the request including sensor data representative of a portion of an environment of the autonomous vehicle. The method may additionally include receiving a response from the remote assistor, the response indicating a second autonomous mode of operation. The method may also include causing the autonomous vehicle to operate in the second autonomous mode of operation in accordance with the response from the remote assistor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 5, 2019
    Publication date: January 16, 2020
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach
  • Publication number: 20200021958
    Abstract: The technology relates to actively looking for an assigned passenger prior to a vehicle 100 reaching a pickup location. For instance, information identifying the pickup location and client device information for authenticating the assigned passenger is received. Sensor data is received from a perception system (172) of the vehicle identifying objects in an environment of the vehicle. When the vehicle is within a predetermined distance (represented by distance bar 772) from the pickup location (represented by marker 770), authenticating a client device (420, 430) using the client device information is attempted. When the client device has been authenticated, the sensor data is used to determine whether a pedestrian (750, 752) is within a first threshold distance (D1) of the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2019
    Publication date: January 16, 2020
    Inventors: Philip Nemec, Renaud-Roland Hubert, Joshua Seth Herbach, Min Li Chan, Michael Epstein, Salil Pandit, John Wesley Dyer, Juliet Rothenberg