Phantom Auto & Renovo Partner on Teleoperation of Autonomous Vehicles

Phantom Auto & Renovo Partner on Teleoperation of Autonomous Vehicles

Author: Eric Walz   

Silicon Valley startups Phantom Auto, a developer of remote teleoperation safety technology for self-driving cars, and Renovo, the company that developed AWare, the first operating system (OS) built specifically for autonomous cars, announced a partnership today to deploy teleoperation safety technology for Renovo's planned fleet operations.

Phantom and Renovo have demonstrated their combined system on public roads in California, and have created a cost-effective solution for at-scale deployments of autonomous vehicles in 2018 and beyond.

Phantom Auto offers a teleoperation solution includes low latency vehicle communication software, an API for real-time assistance and guidance, as well as a remote operator service.

"Phantom Auto is the leader in vehicle remote teleoperation and is setting the standard for system performance. We are delighted they are using AWare in their fleet today, and companies in our ecosystem are thrilled to see this technology become a real option for their fleets," said Christopher Heiser, Renovo CEO and co-founder. "Phantom Auto and Renovo both see driverless vehicles making automated mobility-as-a-service (AMaaS) a massive near-term market opportunity that will transform urban transportation, and we share a common focus on moving to scale in a safe and economical manner as quickly as possible."

According to Shai Magzimof, Phantom Auto's CEO, the company's teleoperation solution "helps ensure the optimally safe testing and deployment of AVs by enabling a remote human operator to safely drive an AV when it cannot drive on its own, because the AV technology is confused, operating in a degraded state, or non-operational."

If a autonomous vehicle get stuck, for example in a construction zone requiring unplanned navigation, a remote operator can takeover using Phantom Auto's teleoperations system, and "drive" the vehicle safely through the area in real-time until the autonomous systems are ready to take over again.

Renovo's AWare OS is a secure operating system for autonomous vehicles. AWare allows multiple safety-critical applications to run on a single computing and network platform and to be deployed in a functionally safe manner. This enables developers, such as Phantom Auto, to integrate their core technology into a broader vehicle system. AWare allows Phantom to add their teleoperation technology to a wide range of autonomous vehicle deployments.

Renovo's AWare is a critical software layer that sits on top of the embedded vehicle infrastructure and provides a safe and reliable interface to sensors, actuators, and data management that is universal across any type of vehicle.

Phantom Auto has been working with Renovo as a key partner to advance their commercialization efforts.

"It is vitally important that lifesaving AVs get tested and deployed on public roads rapidly and at scale, and Renovo is a key part of that strategy," said Magzimof, "and both companies agree that it is imperative that that testing and deployment is optimally safe. By utilizing teleoperation safety technology, driverless AVs will still have a human in the loop who can take over control of the vehicle in the event the vehicle cannot operate safely."

Magzimof added, "Renovo's AWare OS gives us another way to integrate our service into AV stacks, and we are excited that our teleoperation system is now an option for other companies in the Renovo AWare ecosystem."

The technical partnership between the two companies gives Phantom access to Renovo AWare OS as a commercialization platform.

AWare was developed in collaboration with Stanford University's autonomous research teams, has been deployed in commercial road vehicles since 2014.

In December 2017, electronics giant Samsung also enlisted Renovo to help it test, develop, and one day deploy a commercial fleet of self-driving taxis.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is an automotive and technology reporter specializing in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over fifteen years of automotive experience and a B.A. in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the automotive industry and beyond. He has worked on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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