A recent patent shows an auto-pilot switch that lets drivers regain control immediately in an emergency

Though driverless autos won't be the breakthrough technology of this year or any other year in the current decade, they are one of the most hotly discussed ideas in this year's tech world. Google has added a new wrinkle to the conversation with a new patent application that adds a manual control option to their driverless car model.

Google's team refers to the new addition as “arm the chauffer.” The feature adds an arm on the steering column that activates the car's automatic driver, and restores manual control as quickly as switching on or off the high beams. It also includes a more intuitive manual interference option that restores driver control if the pedals or steering wheel are touched suddenly and with force.

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