T-Mobile’s 5G to connect drivers with remote-controlled cars in Vegas
T-Mobile said its speedy 5G network will underpin a new commercial service launching later this year that will feature motorists remotely piloting driverless cars around Las Vegas. The offering may help to shed light on two critical elements still mostly missing in the global telecom industry’s ongoing shift to 5G: How the technology might support new, never-before-seen services, and how operators might make money from those services.
At the heart of T-Mobile’s announcement this week is startup Halo, which is working on driverless car technology and is also a graduate of the 5G Open Innovation Lab co-founded by T-Mobile. The startup plans to begin offering a small-scale commercial service that will allow the company’s drivers to remotely control cars around Las Vegas via T-Mobile’s 5G network. According to FierceWireless, the startup plans to initially operate just five cars in the city as a way to gradually test out its technology in a commercial setting.
Importantly, Halo’s service will not rely on the type of driverless car technology supported by companies like Tesla. Tesla and many other autonomous driving companies rely on software running inside a car to do the driving, essentially allowing a computer to make the decisions. Halo, however, is relying on in-house drivers to remotely operate its driverless cars over T-Mobile’s 5G network. The company also uses an “Advanced Safe Stop” mechanism that ensures its cars immediately come to a full stop if a potential safety hazard or system anomaly is detected. Further, the company is using an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that “learns in the background while humans control the vehicle, building a unique feedback loop to achieve Level 3 capabilities over time.”
Level 3 autonomous driving is basically midway between regular human driving (Level 0) and full-blown computer driving (Level 5). Level 3 involves a car driving itself, but only under certain conditions and with an attentive human.
“Full autonomy is a massive challenge from both a technical and social-trust perspective that won’t be solved for years to come,” said Anand Nandakumar, the founder and CEO of Halo, in a release. “But Halo has been designed to address these challenges by building automation over time starting with a solution that consumers will feel comfortable using today.”
Further, Halo’s remote drivers won’t actually have any human passengers. Instead, they’ll be shuttling the company’s cars between customers. Halo customers will basically ask for a car to come to their pick-up location, and then the customer will drive the car to the destination. When they get out of the car, Halo’s in-house drivers take over to pilot the car to its next customer.
The result is an on-demand car service.
The 5G component
According to Halo’s executives, the system requires a speedy mobile network that can stream data from its cars to its remote drivers.
To read the complete article, visit Light Reading.