Autopilot

Phantom Auto's Self driving car. / Photo by: Cpl. Jake McClung via Marine Corps Photos

 

Technology company Phantom Auto will launch its remote control technology to help self-driving cars in Sacramento, California. Their technology allows a driver to remotely control a driverless vehicle from headquarters.

“The technology being pioneered by Phantom Auto could speed up the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles. Here in Sacramento, we are creating a testing ground for such technologies that will ensure our status as a hub for the jobs they create,” stated Mayor Darrell Steinberg, quoted Sacramento Business Journals.

The remote control technology by Phantom Auto provides 360-degree viewing inside an autonomous car. The technology also enables several solutions for remote driving, including tools for high-risk construction areas, recognition software for hand signals, voice commands, and other communication methods used by police or public safety officials, navigation support for severe weather conditions, and on-demand passenger support.

Meanwhile, the driver who will remotely manage the vehicle is assigned to a specialized station wherein several monitors and equipment are placed. The station also includes a steering wheel, a pedal combo, a keyboard, a digital mouse, a set of speakers, a camera, and a microphone to properly control the car and communicate with the passenger.

According to Shai Magzimof, the technology does not intend to replace autonomous vehicles. Instead, it gives the capability to have a human driver to briefly take over in case an engineering problem occurs. Since transportation evolves every day, traffic, road construction or gaping holes may appear on the route that can affect the performance of a self-driving car. Remote control access can assist the vehicle in accessing unusual pathways.

However, the system is not intended for emergencies, according to Wired. The technology simply serves as a backup system for any scenario when the main system suddenly gets confused. So, if a crash is unavoidable, it is up to the vehicle and not the remote driver to keep the passengers safe.