Re: “Collision Avoidance Of Arbitrary Polygonal Obstacles.”
The article did give a link to the actual patent so you can see which means of skinning a cat they claim is new:
As you can see it is indeed as @malle-herbert said.
Vectors of where the car is.
Vectors and polyhedrons to describe the obstacle.
Bounding circles to describe what must be avoided.
Vectors to describe where the obstacle is in relation to the car.
Computer systems with memory, display units, memory and one or more processors.