Friday, August 03, 2018

Remote Driving

Why public money?

Because self-driving cars are far from ready to handle all road situations, remote-driving is the not-so-secret secret of the autonomous vehicle industry. “The practical reality is you cannot deploy these vehicles without the human in the loop right now,” says Elliot Katz, a co-founder of Phantom Auto. In fact, the California DMV’s new rules for testing driverless cars without backup drivers behind the wheel demands that companies have remote operators. (Only two companies have applied for such a permit.) So some companies, like Phantom, choose to connect their remote operators with vehicles via cellular networks, allowing them to operate cars in trouble through desk-mounted steering wheels.

But in order to get that extra layer of safety, companies need to know that an area’s cellular services are robust. (The self-driving car equivalent of dropping a phone call can have fatal consequences.) So for $100,000 in public funds from the city of Sacramento, Phantom has committed to creating a live map of the city’s cellular networks, which it will eventually use to teleoperate self-driving cars. The company will also participate in two demo days, opportunities for the public to ride in driverless vehicles along two specifically mapped routes, which will be held sometime this year.

Why not? So much public money is going to be spent on this shit and hyperloop.