We recently spoke with Guident Autonomous Intelligence Chairman, Harald Braun, and VP of AI and Research, Dr. Gabriel Castaneda, about their experiences with Dataspeed and their efforts in the teleoperation of Autonomous Vehicles. The Guident team was looking for a system that could easily integrate with their teleoperations software and decided on the Dataspeed By-Wire Kit for a Polaris GEM.
Q. Where did the idea for Guidant originate?
A. Guident was developed from the idea that everything today is connected. Without connectivity, there is no Internet of Things (IOT) and one of these things is a vehicle. To Guident, a vehicle is many things: a car, a robot, a drone, a delivery device. We believe in the future that these vehicles will be operated autonomously, and teleoperations systems are necessary for the safety and effectiveness of autonomous operation.
Q. What type of service does Guident offer?
A. We provide Software as a Service, and (SaaS) work with the existing autonomous vehicle software to create a Remote Monitor and Control Center (RMCC). Our initial use case is to build the first RMCC in the U.S. which uses AI and can rapidly and securely monitor. If necessary, it can take over control of a number of vehicles which makes it much more economical. We like to compare Guident to the flight tower at an airport. There are controllers in the tower which monitor the flights and the air, and if something goes wrong, they have the ability to assist. This is how Guident’s teleoperations would work: providing an off-site human interface.
Q. Can you tell me more about how your accident reporting and assistance requesting works?
A. With Guident’s teleoperations software, there are prototypes in the case of any incident the system can capture data for reporting. We can request assistance right away if there are emergency services required, and we can trigger those services remotely. We can also capture all the evidence of the incidence which creates a smoother process, especially when it comes to insurance. By capturing what really happened, we can reduce insurance costs.
Q. How can some of your software applications be applied in the real world?
A. Our software is not caged to one specific device. We can work with any autonomous device such as drones, cars, or delivery robots. Our software offers what we believe is the lowest-latency video streaming monitoring system on a wireless network which makes AV technology safer. For example, some upcoming smart cities projects could have autonomous shuttles at their train stations and the shuttles would then take passengers to various destinations throughout the city. With Guident teleoperations software, we can operate, monitor, and control these shuttles connected to a mobile telecommunication network from a RMCC. If an issue arises, we can immediately take control of the vehicle or request assistance.
Q. Who do you hope will use the Guident teleoperations systems?
A. We feel that our solutions will benefit a vast range of autonomous and electric vehicle fleet operators. This could be a mining company using autonomous vehicles or delivery device manufactures, delivery service providers, logistics companies, and smart city service projects.
Q. You recently utilized a Dataspeed By-Wire-Kit. How did that test go?
A. Yes, it was a success. We were very happy with the Dataspeed product. We loved the interface and the integration of our software. The product is solid, and we were able to easily integrate everything within roughly 3 weeks.
Q. How does the Dataspeed tech integrate with your systems?
A. The Dataspeed By-Wire Kit allows for control of the vehicle, and Guident provides another layer. With the addition of our software, we can control the vehicle from anywhere. We have a wireless connection that we integrate into the Dataspeed software and hardware, and we send those signals to the RMCC. We also added some video streaming, so we can drive remotely.
Q. How did you hear about Dataspeed, and why did you choose to work with us?
A. What we saw in Dataspeed was the speed of integration. Obviously, there are a few options out there, but we thought that the safest and fastest way for us to integrate everything together in a small-time frame was to use Dataspeed. We felt very secure with your solution, as it is tested and proven solid. We had no doubt that with using your product, we would achieve our goals.
Q. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects Guident is working on?
A. We are currently working on the launch and testing of our RMCC, and next year we plan to expand the RMCC AI capabilities, establish safety use cases and establish an on-demand app for TaaS.
Q. What do you see for the future of AV technology?
A. We see AV adaption growing rapidly. Since there will still be missteps and in many instances, there will be no vehicle operator present to resolve these problems, teleoperation will become necessary. Teleoperation is already a requirement for many AV’s operating in the U.S. We think that this is going to grow, and the only way you can safely deploy an autonomous vehicle without a safety driver is to have teleoperations in place.
Q. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, any last thoughts you would like to add?
A. We were very happy with the Dataspeed partnership, and we look forward to working with the team again in the future.