A patent reveals how Google’s self-driving cars might work: complete with a steering wheel

First spotted by Quartz, the patent published Tuesday reveals a system that would allow the driver to go from manual mode to autonomous mode by simply pushing a large “ON” button.  Before the car would kick into self-driving mode, though, the car’s computer would use sensor data to scan the surrounding environment to make sure that the conditions are safe enough for the car’s autonomous system to take over. In other instances, the system may prompt the driver to change certain settings so that it can enter autonomous mode safely… Tasks would be presented as a checklist so the driver could walk through them step by step, according to the patent. The patent notes that a driver could regain control of the vehicle by engaging with the steering wheel or accelerator.