22.11.2021 - Transport & logistics

GetUgo demonstrates first remotely driven car

GetUgo, a startup company, has demonstrated for the first time in Latvia a teleoperation software that enables autonomous remote control of vehicles in an urban environment. Remote control technology allows you to drive cars and other equipment remotely, without having to be in or near the car. It can be controlled from another city or country.

With the development of a teleoperation software and hardware platform, getUgo is tackling the next generation of mobility: teleoperation capabilities for autonomous vehicles.

“Smart cities are now emerging and we will soon see everyday vehicles such as shared cars, delivery vehicles, agricultural machinery being managed remotely. That is, an autonomous vehicle must have integrated teleoperation software that guarantees safety and intervention capabilities,” says Jānis Upmanis, getUgo representative.

Promising Solution

According to getUgo, such teleoperation software will greatly facilitate various processes related to everyday mobility. For example, by reducing the cost of car-sharing by taking over the driver’s role in logistics centers, delivering cars to the car park, charging point, car wash, or service station, enabling the car-sharing car to be delivered to the customer’s address without the need for additional human resources. Delivery robots, drones, transport infrastructure, and other equipment can perform the last-mile delivery with this solution.

“In the European labor market, it is increasingly difficult to find a reliable driver for your logistics operations or agricultural machinery, so remote operators are a promising solution,” says Upmanis.

The getUgo software runs on a standard mobile network. It is easily scalable and can be used on all networks, including both 4G and 5G technologies. Nothing changes in the dashboard of the car itself, a computer and sensors are connected to a standardized application interface that scans the urban environment and allows steering, acceleration, deceleration, and braking.

Adjusted by Remote Control

Viesturs Celmiņš, head of innovation at Vefresh, points out that currently autonomous cars cannot yet react to all road situations in urban environments, and in unexpected circumstances, an autonomous car may not “understand” how to keep moving.

“Our software is a contingency solution for any autonomous machine; its movements can be monitored and, if necessary, corrected by remote control,” explains Upmanis.

The first urban demonstration ride took place in the area of the closed Āraišu, Pēkšēna, Aizkraukles, and Bajāru Streets, where, in accordance with road traffic rules, the driver was also in the car. The company plans that, with the digitalization of mobility, teleoperation, which enables autonomous vehicle management, will become operational not only on race tracks and in closed traffic with the driver, but also on public roads.

Incubator Admits Six Out of 38

The urban demonstration took place in the framework of the Environmental Mobility Incubator supported by the EIT Knowledge and Innovation Community EIT Urban Mobility, organized by the innovation movement Vefresh in cooperation with Riga City Council and the Institute of Electronics and Computer Science. The aim of the project is to address urban transport and mobility challenges, foster the development of innovative mobility startups, and to demonstrate new products and services in urban environments.

38 mobility ideas from the Baltic States, Poland, Sweden, and even Canada were submitted to the Mobility Incubator. Six teams from Latvia were accepted into the incubator, wrote Labs of Latvia.  Over the past months, the incubator teams have been working on technical solutions to be able to deploy their prototype in an urban environment and continue working on further business development, including attracting investment.

The solutions offered by the teams are diverse:

  • One of the incubator’s teams, E-stop, has developed a scooter parking area, wrote Labs of Latvia,
  • Velorūme’s solution is an enclosed shed that can securely accommodate six bicycles,
  • Mobility point Micropoint combines an electric scooter and bicycle storage area, a mini bike workshop, and a bench in one place,
  • The startup getUgo has developed a teleoperation platform that provides secure remote driving services that are easily scalable and usable across all mobile networks, including both current 4G and future 5G technologies,
  • Simplecharge is an easy-to-install electric car charging station at city light poles. The proposed product leverages existing infrastructure, facilitating both the installation of charging stations and opening up the potential of a large charging network, especially in apartment blocks.

Three Smart City Pilot Areas Are Being Set Up

Some of the prototypes developed in the incubator are being tested in Teika, where one of the so-called smart city technology pilot areas is located. The Riga City Council’s Urban Development Committee has approved a draft decision on the creation of three smart city technology testing or pilot areas in the capital, wrote Labs of Latvia. These are planned not only in the VEF neighborhood but also in the territory of the University of Latvia building complex in Torņakalns and in the neighborhood of Riga Technical University in Ķīpsala. These areas will be created as Riga continues to develop as a smart city.

“Pilot areas support economic growth. We hope that the smart city technologies tested in the pilot areas will be useful both for improving Riga’s climate and mobility performance and that they can be exported outside Latvia,” said Inese Andersone, chair of the Riga City Council’s Urban Development Committee.

The pilot areas will facilitate access to municipal services for citizens, reduce the costs of municipal services for citizens, help harness the potential of new technologies for economic growth, and make it easier and faster for entrepreneurs to deploy their prototypes in the urban environment.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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