Teledriving Is a Sneaky Shortcut to Driverless Cars
A German company is behind the plan to remotely drive cars
On the busy streets of suburban Berlin, just south of Tempelhofer Feld, a white Kia is skillfully navigating double-parked cars, roadworks, cyclists, and pedestrians. Dan, the driver, strikes up a conversation with his passengers, remarking on the changing traffic lights and the sound of an ambulance screaming past in the other direction. But Dan isn't in the car.
Instead, he's half a mile away at the offices of German startup Vay. The company kits its cars out with radar, GPS, ultrasound, and an array of other sensors to allow drivers like Dan to control the vehicles remotely from a purpose-built station equipped with a driver’s seat, steering wheel, pedals, and three monitors providing visibility in front of the car and to its side.
Vay's approach, which it calls teledriving, is pitched as an alternative to fully autonomous driving, which is proving much harder to achieve than first thought—as the likes of Waymo, Cruise and Tesla are discovering. Vay was cofounded by Fabrizio Scelsi, Bogdan Djukic and Thomas von der Ohe, whose personal epiphany came while working at Zoox, one of the world's leaders in robotaxi development.
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