Roadshow Video Reviews
Phantom Auto can control a car from virtually anywhereWe took a spin with the founder of the company behind the wheel, but the real driver was miles away.
[MUSIC] Self driving cars are nothing new. Heck, some of us here at Road Show have even ridden in one or two. But I'm here at Phantom Autos, and they've got a car with just a little bit of a kick. See, it's not self driving, but it is driverless. Instead of a person behind the wheel, it is operated by a remote control driver inside this building here at Mountain View, California. [MUSIC] Welcome everybody. My name is Ben and I'll be your phantom remote operator for this drive. I'll be monitoring your vehicle remotely. If you have any concerns or questions please let me know and I'll be happy to assist you. All right. So you're not going to touch the wheel. I'm not doing anything. All right. So Shia is the safety driver. I'm not even going to change the gear. So he's not gonna do anything at all. He doesn't turn on the turn signal. He hasn't done anything. And I can't really talk to him because he is here for absolute End of the line safety. So I'm gonna talk to Elliot, who is there in the back seat. Say hi, Elliot! Hey. So this is technically not an autonomous vehicle. This vehicle is being driven remotely by Ben, who is in the office right over there. And we're gonna take a drive through Mountain View With Ben driving remotely. Lexi, what is it like there on your end? Because I can see you and I can hear you guys. So what is- Hi. I can see you guys. This is really interesting because there were a couple situations like that- Did we get a yellow light? I'm sorry, we got a yellow light and he totally That up to make it. Nice. Awesome, good job Ben. Well done Ben. [LAUGH] But this course situation. There is so much visability here. Like I can see all around the car. So there was, it's your default view. When you're driving you are looking straight ahead. But Obviously with this you don't even really need to move your head. You just literally move your eye and you can see totally to the left and right. So when Ben was making that right on red I didn't even have to move my head physically to see it. I could see that it was safe to do that. Why would I need this in the vehicle? Well, first of all this isn't gonna go out to consumers right? I'm assuming this is For like, fleets of self driving ride sharing. Initially, these auotnomous vehicles are going to be deployed mainly as level four ridesharing? Okay. And so, in those deployments, you could have our tell operation safety solution, so that if and when those vehicles Get into situations where the vehicle for whatever reason can not operate you can ping a remote operator like Ben right now. Okay. And he would be able to drive through that situation. Why couldn't I just take control of the wheel? If he can take control of the wheel at any moment. Sure. Why would I need this in order to make my self driving car drive better? The ultimate of pretty much every AB company is to have a truly driverless vehicle, so no driver in the car. Okay. And in addition these cars as GM has very publicly stated recently. They're aiming to not have steering wheels, not have a brake pedal, etcetera. Right, okay. So in the event that someone is not physically in the car. We offer technological solutions That allows for a human to still take control and be in the loop, even if they're not physically sitting in the vehicle. And not to interrupt, but just to let you know what we're doing right here is we're entering a gas station with no lane-markings. Obviously, there's vehicles moving back and forth, potentially pedestrians So, this is the type of scenario that could potentially cause issues for AV's. Ben, my life is your hands, man. [LAUGH] Don't disappoint me. [LAUGH] And then another thing coming up, which is interesting. So, we're about to exit the gas station. Okay. And. we're actually not going right, we're making a left. We're going across four lanes of traffic? Correct. Correct.>> Remotely. Correct. You all are out of your mind, because in an autonomous vehicle, because it's programmed to have such a wide birth of room, it would never make this left hand turn on its own. Would never do it. My God. Are you out of your mind? Okay Ben. It's where you make your money. [LAUGH] It's reversing, There we go. That's a good shot actually. [LAUGH] That thing is giant. He's coming at us. What is he doing? [LAUGH] What is he doing? That's an edge case times a million. [LAUGH] That was amazing. There is no way. If we were in an autonomous vehicle, that thing, it would have exploded. It's brain would have exploded. Sensors down. Yeah, and then look, it's like- And there's a car coming right there, there's a car coming right ther. My gosh. [LAUGH] That is so cool. Wow, Ben! [APPLAUSE] And we did not hire that truck driver to try and kill us. [LAUGH] And what is powering all of this technology? So it's cameras. Okay. And that's by design. We want to make sure, again We are a safety solution for autonomous vehicles. Okay. So in the event that anything in the sensor suite shuts down, let's say LIDAR is no longer working, we want to be able to rely on just the bare minimum, which is cameras, and still be able to drive. Okay, right, so how does it communicate? So we're using multiple wireless providers at the same time, Verizon and AT&T. Okay. So we don't rely on one network- So it's all cellular. And they're all working at the same time. Okay. To get this result. By using cellular there's no latency. He turns the wheel, and, at the same time, your wheel turns. So there's always a little bit of latency, but, obviously, See we've gotten latency low enough, and that's kind of our secret sauce to be able to drive [INAUDIBLE]. Okay. This is remarkable, you guys. I cannot believe I got to experience this. [MUSIC] I gotta admit, that was a little weird, but I could really tell that there was a human driving the car instead of just an algorithm. So when are we gonna see this out on the streets? Well probably in ride share fleets pretty soon. And who knows, maybe some day you'll have four cameras on top of your car too. [MUSIC]