Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Remote control cars

In an earlier post I wrote about automated parking functions that let you step out of your car and watch it park itself. Chinese manufacturer BYD are now marketing a remote control feature that lets you remote-control your car from your key-fob.

Although it might be an oddball feature used to stand out in the crowded automotive market, the ability to tele-operate a vehicle is interesting. When talking about cooperative and automated vehicles we often only consider either fully autonomous vehicles or driver support functions. Maybe "fake autonomy" using remote human feedback to handle some parts of the driving task is one way forward? Similar to how UAV drones are partially tele-operated, a remote valet driver could park your car for you after having control handed over to him.