|Motional vehicles to see with a bird's-eye view in Vegas this spring|
Driverless vehicle company Motional and artificial intelligence startup Derq will partner on a pilot in Las Vegas this spring to give Motional's vehicles a bird's-eye view.
Motional, based in Boston, is the year-old, $4 billion autonomous-driving joint venture of supplier Aptiv and Hyundai. Derq is a vehicle-to-everything spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is based out of Dubai and Detroit. The companies will work together to identify challenging situations that could come in the way of Motional's vehicles.
Along with using data from their sensors to navigate their surroundings, Motional vehicles can receive data transmitted wirelessly from the road infrastructure using Dedicated Short Range Communications.
The companies said Tuesday that Derq's AI technology supplies self-driving cars with even more information about their surroundings by giving them a view from above the road. Derq installs cameras on roadside infrastructure, such as traffic lights, to gather information about vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists inside the intersection. It will transmit the data to Motional vehicles.
First, the data will be studied offline, then used in real time to help inform the driving of Motional's vehicles.
From an elevated vantage point, "Derq's system can see cars exiting parking lots, pedestrians stepping between parked cars, and cyclists weaving through cars stopped at a red light," Motional said in a statement. The technology "can also detect and alert road operators about dangerous traffic incidents unrelated to autonomous vehicles, such as crashes and wrong-way drivers."
The company said an unspecified number of Motional vehicles will be part of the pilot, which will last for an undetermined period of time. The companies did not disclose the intersections.
The partnership expands on Motional's work in Las Vegas, where the company has been operating driverless Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Derq also partners with the city to deploy software on infrastructure and uses cameras and radar to analyze the movement of road users.
– Alexa St. John