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Far and Away: Remote Drivers Monitor Autonomous Vehicles

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AVEP11_04
Published November 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Remote operators are helping autonomous shuttles and other AVs navigate through complex situations.

Eliminating the safety “watchdogs” who typically ride in autonomous vehicles (AVs) is a big step for technologists and legislators alike. A shuttle at Texas A&M University is among the first on public streets to replace these drivers with a remote operator who monitors vehicle behavior from an operations center.

Teleoperation increasingly is considered as a way to augment automated-vehicle systems when they encounter situations that are difficult to analyze. Startups such as Phantom Auto, Starsky Robotics, Veniam and Designated Driver are establishing operations centers where remote drivers constantly watch for challenges that aren't easily handled by AV algorithms. Larger players such as Valeo, Uber and General Motors also are developing teleoperation strategies.