Designated Driver Teleoperation Joins AutonmouStuff Open Autonomy Pilot

Designated Driver announced it is the first teleoperation provider participating in AutonomouStuff’s new Open Autonomy Pilot program. Designated Driver, which offers a solution for the safe, secure and reliable teleoperation of autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles, will integrate its teleoperation technology in AutonomouStuff’s autonomy software and state-of-the-art research vehicles.

Enabling remote control of vehicles in the event of obstructions, challenging road conditions, sensor malfunction or where operation is difficult or hazardous, Designated Driver offers both direct and indirect (assisted) models for teleoperation. With the direct model, the teleoperator fully takes charge of the car, using the cameras and sensors in the vehicle to maneuver it. With Designated Driver’s indirect mode of operation—useful for many real-world scenarios—the autonomy system remains fully functional but the teleoperation system also kicks in to better understand the environment and provide guidance that enables the vehicle to continue to safely maneuver itself.

“Designated Driver is a valued partner to us and the addition of their teleoperation system to our Open Autonomy Pilot is truly exciting,” said John Buszek, vice president of product and services, AutonomouStuff. “Our team will now be able to test and gather data on teleoperations, which will allow us to develop more advanced functionalities for autonomous driving.”

The Open Autonomy Pilot, which was announced May 31 in downtown Peoria, IL, aims to enable, accelerate and deploy technology that drives the future of autonomy. To accomplish this goal, AutonomouStuff’s research vehicles, driven by highly-trained safety drivers, are collecting relevant data and testing autonomous driving software in complex, real-world driving conditions.

“We’re thrilled to provide our teleoperation technology to the Open Autonomy Pilot program,” said Manuela Papadopol, CEO, Designated Driver. “We value the opportunity to collaborate with partners like AutonomouStuff to ensure the industry achieves its goal of full autonomy in a safe manner and teleoperation of vehicles is critical to that achievement.”

Full deployment of Designated Driver’s teleoperation technology is expected by September this year.