Mario Nissan
Managing Partner
LIP Ventures Boutique
/
Startup Contributor

Vehicle Teleoperation: Innovation That Offers Great Opportunities

By Mario Nissan | Wed, 03/02/2022 - 15:00

Vehicle teleoperation is an innovative topic all over the world that is gradually gaining strength, becoming a trend due to the great benefits it provides.

Currently, there are two main types of autonomous vehicle teleoperation. The first is remote driving, also called "direct driving," where the remote operator performs the dynamic driving task, i.e., drives the car remotely, controlling the steering wheel, acceleration and braking systems. The remote driver has full control over the vehicle but from a distance. The second mode is remote assistance, also called "high-level commands," where remote operators monitor the vehicle and provide instructions and approve or modify the vehicle's route without actually performing the dynamic driving task. We focus on the first, remote driving.

In Mexico, one of the main advantages of this model of driving is the offer of employment to drivers who before, due to the lack of opportunities and low wages here, would go to the US, leaving their families and working illegally in many cases. Today, there is a great opportunity to allow people in Mexico to work in positions in the US, helping to create a better Mexico. Remote driving makes it possible for drivers from Mexico to teleoperate vehicles that are thousands of kilometers away. Using this technology, we can even train drivers who are located in isolated areas and, in turn, they can teleoperate machines that are located in risky environments.

Vehicle teleoperation solves complex problems in many industries, such as the lack of professionals in some developed countries, such as the US and the UK, where the shortage of trailer drivers, forklift drivers and others is directly impacting supply and logistics costs. For remote driving, in addition to training, it is important to find the right people, with profiles that guarantee safety and effectiveness.

The role of the teleoperator is to help the autonomous vehicle complete its mission, making correct decisions in the face of uncertainty or any unknown scenario.

Today, remote driving includes practically any type of vehicle. Some of the use cases of teleoperation are:

·      Delivery robots

·      Forklift for material manipulation

·      Truck yards

·      Autonomous road vehicles

·      Drones

·      Industrial and agribusiness

·      Trailers

In our country, several tests have been carried out on handling delivery robots, trucks in the yards of large logistics operators and forklifts. These have been successful in all aspects.

At Remotics, one of our business units, we guarantee trained and specialized personnel, the necessary infrastructure, as well as the hardware required to operate from Mexico in other countries.

The regulation of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles requires remote monitoring and driving, so this service is the spearhead to meet the requirements at a fraction of the cost of the US, which is why its popularity in our country is increasing.

Another relevant aspect of vehicle teleoperation is the role played by artificial intelligence, which is capable of providing advanced assistance to teleoperators; for example, predicting terrain conditions, providing significant details on the road and exact orientation to avoid adverse situations and setbacks.

In addition, automated driving is only possible through mobile phone networks with stable data throughput, shorter latency times, multiple streams of real-time audio, data and control, and uniform network coverage. AI is very useful for predicting the behavior of networks in a few seconds to adjust the speed and compression of the data.

In Mexico, teleoperation is new; however, in other countries the teleoperation of vehicles is a common reality and a facilitating technology in various industries, such as the delivery of products and food, as well as in companies that are dedicated to providing mobility services.

Without any doubt, the innovations around the teleoperation of vehicles will continue and Mexico cannot afford to be left behind. Fortunately, more and more companies in various sectors are aware of this, so we can expect, over the time, more and more companies will integrate vehicle teleoperation into their processes.

Photo by:   Mario Nissan