GM has filed a pair of patents that describe a system for detecting a lost item in a vehicle and notifying the owner of said lost item.
The GM patent filings have been assigned application numbers US 2023/0245550 A1 and US 2023/0245517 A1 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and both were published on August 3rd, 2023. Both patents were originally filed on January 28th, 2023. The patents list several U.S.-based engineers as the inventors, including Ke Liu, Jingyan Wan, and Omer Tsimhoni, as well as Ron Hecht from Israel.
One of the patent applications describes a system whereby a lost object can be detected in a compartment, and added to an inventory list of lost objects. The system can also identify at least one potential user of the lost item, while providing a notification to that user, as well as access to an image of the item. In addition, the system can verify ownership of the lost item, determine a preferred pickup location for the owner, store the lost item at the location, and confirm the identity of the owner for retrieval at the given location.
The other patent describes a system and method for notifying an owner of a lost item in a vehicle, with the item defined in a certain location within the vehicle, visualizing the item, defining an image of the item, and adding that item to an inventory list. The system can then identify a potential owner for the lost item and provide a viewable image of it.
Obviously, these systems would be particularly useful in fully autonomous vehicles, which would surely collect lost items regularly when in service as robotaxis. As such, these systems would find an application in the Cruise Chevy Bolt EVs, as well as Cruise Origin. It’s possible the system could also be used for identifying users who leave trash in the AVs, and in fact, a separate GM patent filed previously describes a self-cleaning floor system well-suited for autonomous vehicles.