Autopilot

A self driving car concept. / Photo by: Grendelkhan via Wikimedia Commons

 

A new fleet of self-driving cars has arrived in Texas and its autonomous software platform focuses on humans. Drive.ai will run the fleet of autonomous vehicles in Frisco, Texas for six months for a test pilot.

The setup of the self-driving fleet by Drive.ai resembles airport shuttles instead of taxis. The vehicles can be recognized easily due to the orange and blue colors on Nissan NV200 vans which will run only in a tightly geofenced area in fixed routes.

“By choosing geofenced regions and working with partners, we can take advantage of self-driving cars’ strengths while diminishing their weaknesses,” said Andrew Ng, a member of the board at Drive.ai, quoted Wired.

The self-driving software of the company uses artificial intelligence to learn the current state of transportation. The AI enables development of potential solutions for challenges encountered in the level 4 autonomous driving level. One implementation of the software is the people-centric safety, in which the cars can communicate with drivers, pedestrians, and employees of the company, in order to keep safety at the optimal level.

For car-to-employee communication, the developers created the Telechoice system. This system permits remote monitoring so employees at Drive.ai can see the efficiency and safety performance in real time. The monitoring provides the essential details on what the vehicle sees as it drives on roads. The system also enables human intervention to help the self-driving cars to make particular decisions when necessary.

However, the remote monitoring feature limits the employees in controlling the basic functions of the vehicle. For instance, they can apply the brakes of the cars but they cannot accelerate or assume full control.

Eventually, the company will eliminate the human safety driver in their autonomous cars equipped with an enabled Telechoice feature. The point of the feature is to let the team at Drive.ai to give assistance whenever possible.