Imagine this: You are meandering through a crowded park in the sweltering Florida heat, trying to fit in all of your dining and gift-shopping before hitting up your next attraction. As your scheduled time nears, your family heads over to an assigned boarding spot close by; rather than hoofing it all the way to your next ride, your ride vehicle comes to meet you — transporting you through the park and directly onto your next attraction.
That is one of the possible variations of the technology outlined in a new patent application by Universal City Studios LLC titled “Autonomous Transportation Techniques.”
Autonomous vehicles often come up in news stories in the form of driverless cars, trucks, and buses. While that technology seems to be progressing, there are inherent difficulties in having an automated system navigate the complex system of roads that comprise the average major city. It would be a lot easier to get autonomous vehicles to navigate properly if they were in a small area, with clearly defined routes and boundaries, and without other human drivers to add unexpected variables — say, a theme park.
Universal’s document hits all the bases for what driverless vehicles could accomplish in a small area, including not only the transportation of guests throughout a park or resort, but also the retrieval of their belonging. The application’s background states,