Today, vehicles touting driverless tech garner a significant amount of attention in the tech space. But most companies work on this technology in a similar manner. Namely, the vehicles will feature an array of LIDAR, radar, and camera apparatus to safely navigate the streets. But others opt for an alternative approach.
Las Vegas-based startup Halo Car would fall into the latter category in its approach to hands-free driving. Halo Car has been working on perfecting its system using remote piloting technology for ridesharing. The Vegas firm aims to make electric car sharing easier and more accessible. By utilizing remote piloting, the cars can reach customer hands at any place and time (within Downtown Las Vegas), bypassing all the stipulations of traditionally renting a car.
To make this possible, the company employs a headquarter located in Las Vegas in which it has drivers sitting behind the cockpit, driving vehicles. The drivers’ inputs are streamed to actual vehicles driving to customers in real-time. The customers aren’t the ones being autonomously driven; rather, the action of car delivery and collection is completed through its remote drivers.
The vehicles’ hardware includes cameras, sensors, and antennas. Software-wise, Halo Car uses T-Mobile’s 5G network to allow for seamless operation. The firm also uses Verizon and AT&T signals to enhance stability. Thanks to Halo Car’s technology, the system can automatically select the strongest signal. Stability is vital when remotely driving a nearly two-ton EV down the road.
Gallery: Halo Car
Before today, Halo Car used vehicle safety drivers to monitor the system. The company would employ a chase car to pick up the safety driver, assisting in further monitoring. As of June 29, Halo Car has elected to remove the safety driver, making the vehicles fully ‘driverless’ when delivering or collecting the rentals. That said, the firm still utilizes chase cars, which can shut down the remotely-piloted car, alleviating some concerns. Though, it expects to eliminate them in the coming year.
The firm operates in the downtown area of Las Vegas, but expects to increase its driverless deliverable area next year. Moreover, the firm has a list of potential new cities to migrate into, including Atlanta, Austin, New York, and more. Halo Car currently pilots Bolt EV and Kia Niro EVs, each running $12 an hour to rent.