Designated Driver has announced a solution for teleoperation of autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles. The company enables remote control of vehicles in the event of obstructions, challenging road conditions, sensor malfunction or where the operation is difficult or hazardous, in a safe, secure and reliable manner.
The company also claims to be the industry’s first startup to offer to car makers both direct and indirect approaches for teleoperation. Other remote-control solutions only enable the direct model, with the teleoperator fully taking charge of the car, using the cameras and sensors in the vehicle to maneuver it. However, in most real-world scenarios the autonomy system is fully functional but simply unable to determine the safest path forward. In these situations, Designated Driver provides indirect human assistance. This approach is expected to comprise a significant portion of the service, and requires a very brief teleoperator engagement.
With the indirect model, teleoperators are able to model a path for a vehicle “offline” so the vehicle can navigate safely, without any direct human intervention. Examples of such scenarios include a crowded construction site or a temporary roadblock.
The company also announced its first customer, AutonomouStuff, a Hexagon company and provider of autonomy-enabling technologies that specializes in perception sensors, GPS, and computing.
Designated Driver’s customizable teleoperation kit is available on the AutonomouStuff website, available for vehicles with an automation level 2 and up, as well as vertical market applications such as agriculture and mining. AutonomouStuff will be also be distributing and integrating Designated Driver into its platforms for autonomous vehicle development.
Most major autonomous vehicle players are either preparing for teleoperation of their vehicles or testing it already. Some states—California among them—already require remote operation for the testing of driverless vehicles.
Source: Press Release