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).

  • Publication number: 20220004200
    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: September 15, 2021
    Publication date: January 6, 2022
    Inventors: Peter Colijn, Laurens Andreas Feenstra, Joshua Seth Herbach, Katharine Patterson
  • Publication number: 20210389768
    Abstract: An autonomous vehicle may include a stuck condition detection component and a communications component. The stuck-detection component may be configured to detect a condition in which the autonomous vehicle is impeded from navigating according to a first trajectory. The communications component may send an assistance signal to an assistance center and receive a response to the assistance signal. The assistance signal may include sensor information from the autonomous vehicle. The assistance center may include a communications component and a trajectory specification component. The communications component may receive the assistance signal and send a corresponding response. The trajectory specification component may specify a second trajectory for the autonomous vehicle and generate the corresponding response that includes a representation of the second trajectory. The second trajectory may be based on the first trajectory and may ignore an object that obstructs the first trajectory.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2021
    Publication date: December 16, 2021
    Inventors: Joshua Seth Herbach, Nathaniel Fairfield
  • Patent number: 11175666
    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: January 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    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: 11157018
    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 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Peter Colijn, Laurens Andreas Feenstra, Joshua Seth Herbach, Katharine Patterson
  • Patent number: 11029687
    Abstract: An autonomous vehicle may include a stuck condition detection component and a communications component. The stuck-detection component may be configured to detect a condition in which the autonomous vehicle is impeded from navigating according to a first trajectory. The communications component may send an assistance signal to an assistance center and receive a response to the assistance signal. The assistance signal may include sensor information from the autonomous vehicle. The assistance center may include a communications component and a trajectory specification component. The communications component may receive the assistance signal and send a corresponding response. The trajectory specification component may specify a second trajectory for the autonomous vehicle and generate the corresponding response that includes a representation of the second trajectory. The second trajectory may be based on the first trajectory and may ignore an object that obstructs the first trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Joshua Seth Herbach, Nathaniel Fairfield
  • Publication number: 20210158705
    Abstract: Example systems and methods allow for reporting and sharing of information reports relating to driving conditions within a fleet of autonomous vehicles. One example method includes receiving information reports relating to driving conditions from a plurality of autonomous vehicles within a fleet of autonomous vehicles. The method may also include receiving sensor data from a plurality of autonomous vehicles within the fleet of autonomous vehicles. The method may further include validating some of the information reports based at least in part on the sensor data. The method may additionally include combining validated information reports into a driving information map. The method may also include periodically filtering the driving information map to remove outdated information reports. The method may further include providing portions of the driving information map to autonomous vehicles within the fleet of autonomous vehicles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 4, 2021
    Publication date: May 27, 2021
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach, Andrew Hughes Chatham, Michael Steven Montemerlo
  • Patent number: 11016482
    Abstract: Example systems and methods enable an autonomous vehicle to request assistance from a remote operator in certain predetermined situations. One example method includes determining a representation of an environment of an autonomous vehicle based on sensor data of the environment. Based on the representation, the method may also include identifying a situation from a predetermined set of situations for which the autonomous vehicle will request remote assistance. The method may further include sending a request for assistance to a remote assistor, the request including the representation of the environment and the identified situation. The method may additionally include receiving a response from the remote assistor indicating an autonomous operation. The method may also include causing the autonomous vehicle to perform the autonomous operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach, Vadim Furman
  • Publication number: 20210092572
    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: October 19, 2020
    Publication date: March 25, 2021
    Inventors: Philip Nemec, Renaud-Roland Hubert, Joshua Seth Herbach, Min Li Chan, Michael Epstein, Salil Pandit, John Wesley Dyer, Juliet Rothenberg
  • Publication number: 20210048816
    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: September 30, 2020
    Publication date: February 18, 2021
    Inventors: Emily Chi, Ryan Joseph Andrade, Michael James, loan-Alexandru Sucan, Christopher Kennedy Ludwick, Joshua Seth Herbach, Misha Balakhno, Andrew Barton-Sweeney
  • Publication number: 20210043089
    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: Application
    Filed: September 1, 2020
    Publication date: February 11, 2021
    Inventors: Joshua Seth Herbach, Philip Nemec, Nathaniel Fairfield
  • Patent number: 10916142
    Abstract: Example systems and methods allow for reporting and sharing of information reports relating to driving conditions within a fleet of autonomous vehicles. One example method includes receiving information reports relating to driving conditions from a plurality of autonomous vehicles within a fleet of autonomous vehicles. The method may also include receiving sensor data from a plurality of autonomous vehicles within the fleet of autonomous vehicles. The method may further include validating some of the information reports based at least in part on the sensor data. The method may additionally include combining validated information reports into a driving information map. The method may also include periodically filtering the driving information map to remove outdated information reports. The method may further include providing portions of the driving information map to autonomous vehicles within the fleet of autonomous vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2021
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventors: Nathaniel Fairfield, Joshua Seth Herbach, Andrew Hughes Chatham, Michael Steven Montemerlo
  • Patent number: 10901415
    Abstract: Aspects of the disclosure relate to a system that includes a memory storing a queue for arranging tasks, a plurality of self-driving systems for controlling an autonomous vehicle, and one or more processors. The one or more processors may receive a non-passenger task request with a priority level of the non-passenger task request. When the non-passenger task request is accepted, the one or more processors may insert the task in the queue based on the priority level of the task request. Then, the one or more processors may provide instructions to one or more self-driving systems according to the non-passenger task request. Having received updates of the status of the autonomous vehicle, the one or more processors may determine that the task is completed based on the updates. After determining that the task is completed, the one or more processors may remove the task from the queue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: WAYMO LLC
    Inventors: Joshua Seth Herbach, Philip Nemec, Peter Colijn
  • 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: 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
  • 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
  • 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