Nearby, the bulk of the company's second-generation BMW 3-series fleet sits parked in a gleaming white garage. Aptiv is using Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, which at least for now are only for r&d purposes. Later, Hyundai vehicle platforms will be added to the fleet, a result of the $4 billion joint venture Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group unveiled in September.
In another room, a screen covers an entire wall. It provides a visual overview of the real-time location of every vehicle in service. Employees can click on a vehicle and get a treasure trove of instant information on vehicle speed or a view of the road from on-board cameras. If a check-engine light illuminates, a worker at the center receives a notification.
Employees can overlay a heat map on the screen that helps them understand demand for rides in certain areas, and they can project when and where demand is expected to peak. They also can monitor real-time video feeds from the city's Regional Transportation Center, and plot to avoid traffic jams and other mishaps.
The facility serves as a national command center. From Las Vegas, Aptiv's employees can conduct the same monitoring of test vehicles deployed in Pittsburgh and Boston. Someday, they may have the capability to add Singapore, where Aptiv also conducts on-road operations.
Since there are human safety drivers aboard the vehicles, Aptiv has no current need for remote operators. But Iagnemma says the company is developing its own in-house teleoperation solution, and it's possible such operators would be conducted from the Vegas operations center.