Autonomous vehicles, the patent warns, “may not have information about reversible lanes when approaching a portion of a roadway that has reversible lane”, leading to a worst-case scenario of them driving headfirst into oncoming traffic.
More generally, the inability to plan for reversible lanes means cars and trucks can’t optimise their routes by getting into the correct lane well in advance, something that could otherwise prove to be one of the benefits of self-driving cars.
Amazon’s solution to the problem could have much larger ramifications than simply dealing with highway traffic in large cities. The patent proposes a centralised roadway management system that can communicate with multiple self-driving cars to exchange information and coordinate vehicle movement at a large scale.
It isn't entirely clear what this means, but I look forward to legislation requiring that all roadworks, with precise measurements, be submitted in advance. Anyway, point being is that the only chance this works (it still won't) is a lot of external infrastructure and changes to how things are done. And who will pay for all of that?