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German startup driving the hurdles of autonomous vehicles

Despite the concept of self-driving cars, which dates back to the late 1950s and offers a seamless, hands-free driving experience, only peripheral technologies have permeated the real world. Our ancestors would have been amazed by the video displays, powertrains, and navigation systems available today. But the concept of “mobility” in the 21st century also turned out to be a bit of a scam.

Formerly a generic term for autonomous transportation, the phrase has been redefined by the industry to relate to subscription fees, wireless renewals, digital attachment of credit card information to vehicles, and almost all current features. I’m interested in selling. Meanwhile, the self-driving program that launched the Renaissance has stagnated, as companies cannot fully understand how to teach cars to successfully take on all the obligations of human drivers. However, there are German startups trying to avoid these obstacles by hiring digital drivers who work far away.

At first glance, Vay seems to have all the characteristics of a self-driving car company. Using the minimalist logo, Unpleasantly borrowed words from marketing agencies, And all self-driving cars now rely heavily on the same hardware that needs to work. However, how you use these onboard systems is very different. Rather than hiring an army of engineers and programmers to teach cars how to drive like a person, Vay uses existing sensing and camera equipment to let professional drivers operate the vehicle remotely. I want it.

Connected cars are welcomed using smartphone applications (such as Uber and Lyft) and the driver is informed of the pick-up location. From there, they steer the vehicle remotely to their destination until the customer can board and take responsibility for the driving. The virtual driving rig then loads another vehicle throughout the town and the process starts over. Vay basically integrates short-term car rental, ride hailing, self-driving and drone strikes into one neat little package.

“But it’s not really self-driving,” you hear on the screen.

I’m included to agree, SAE International updated its language in May to include “Remote Assistance and Remote Drive” — It is not really clear about the effectiveness of such a system or how it will be incorporated into existing levels of autonomy.

However, it’s still relevant to Vay, and the company’s overall point is to escape from relying entirely on machine learning and long test cycles that appear to be less useful. .. It also requires some autonomous features to safely stop the vehicle if the connection between the vehicle and the remote driver is interrupted. The unit also uses many of the same devices that are found in other AVs, ensuring that information is streamed back into the virtual cockpit.

Its last bit is very important because it is basically the cornerstone of the overall business proposal. Ultimately, Vay said he wanted to provide a full-time virtual driver who could take over whenever the driver felt he had enough time to grab the steering wheel. I’ve heard that other companies (including some major manufacturers) are working in this area, but Vay is dedicated to this and has since appeared on radar. Bloomberg I covered them last week.

Vay wants to make a leap forward in competition by offering a cheaper and more viable alternative to true self-driving cars. We are allegedly approaching that goal.

In an interview, CEO Thomas von der Ohe said, “We will launch the service next year, not five years later, and it will have significant benefits over what is there.”

Herr von der Ohe was previously involved in the development of Amazon’s Alexa and was hired by the self-driving company Zoox. It ’s a small costume with about 70 employees, Bloomberg Other Vay staff said they have relevant qualifications as well.

Vay’s Fonde Aoe and his co-founders (engineer, electric car developer, Fabrizio Scelsi and Bogdan Djukic who built the software for Skype) are from Google, Volkswagen AG’s Audi, and Elon Musk’s Boring Company. In addition, the teledrive first approach.

The company’s trained teledrivers operate from stations with steering wheels, pedals, and several large monitors for 360-degree visibility with no blind spots. The system has built-in redundancy to prevent speeding and overlay safety information on the screen to make the ride more secure.

The above wasn’t a problem enough to solve the previous latency issue that would have disabled the ability to use offsite drivers in the first place. But the company says it’s happy with the progress (at least in metropolitan areas) and is now able to open courts with local regulators to find investors who can expand their business.

Currently, the vehicle is being tested exclusively in Berlin. However, in the future, it will include using the system for a more comprehensive ride-hailing / sharing experience or selling the technology to other companies. Vay claims that it can significantly reduce the cost of traditional AV and that the system can be installed in almost any modern car for thousands of euros.

[Images: Vay]

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German startup driving the hurdles of autonomous vehicles

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