Google patent offers shoppers driverless taxis

Google has been awarded a patent for an advertising service that could see businesses subsidise the cost of autonomous transport systems to get customers to their physical store.

The system will take into account the potential cost and benefit to the advertiser and weigh up factors such as the consumer’s location and their alternative possible modes of transport to assess how much of a barrier transportation is to the consumer. Google said it would also consider how much the retailer’s rivals would be willing to pay to have a consumer transported to their own business.