T-Mobile and Halo have taken a step toward full autonomous transportation with the launch of a commercial driverless car service in Las Vegas.
The autonomous vehicles are not yet transporting passengers. That milestone, which is expected later this year, will begin in urban parts of the Las Vegas Valley. The Halo system has been operational – presumably for testing – on Las Vegas roads since earlier this year.
Fully autonomous vehicles still are a way in the future. The platform uses the carrier’s 5G network to support Halo’s RemotePilot technology that enables trained drivers to operate electric vehicles (EV) in the field. The system features the Advanced Safe Stop mechanism that, as the name implies, stops the EV if a hazard or system anomaly arises.
The system uses artificial intelligence to learn the background while the human drives. This creates a feedback loop that over time will enable the system to achieve level 3 capabilities, a step in the evolution to full autonomy, the T-Mobile Halo press release explains.
Halo participated in the 5G Open Innovation Lab, which was cofounded by T-Mobile. Halo was founded by executives from several companies, including Uber, Cruise Robotics, Proterra and Amazon.
“Full autonomy is a massive challenge from both a technical and social trust perspective that won’t be solved for years to come,” Halo founder and CEO Anand Nandakumar said in the press release about the T-Mobile Halo deal. “But Halo has been designed to address these challenges by building automation over time starting with a solution that consumers will feel comfortable using today.”
A 3-mile autonomous vehicle test track is part of the 5G Connected Future incubator in the Peachtree Corners Curiosity Lab in Georgia. The facility – which also features a 25,000-square-foot Innovation Center – is covered by T-Mobile’s Extended Range 5G and Ultra Capacity 5G network.