WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Waymo, the self- driving car company owned by Google’s parent company, is getting ready to roll out a fleet of self- driving taxis.READ MORE: Seminoles Suspend Sports Betting After Court Rulings
Those cabs will not be entirely without human drivers, even if the driver is miles away.
California is one of at least five states that allow self-driving cars to be on the road without a safety driver if they have a system in place for a human to take over remotely.
Phantom Auto doesn’t build self-driving cars, but they’re hoping their technology can come to the rescue of a confused autonomous vehicle. It uses cell phone signals and cameras already mounted to the vehicle so a remote operator can take over in a situation where the car doesn’t know what to do.READ MORE: 23rd Annual 'A Home For The Holidays At The Grove' Comes To CBS On Sunday, December 5th
“Say you come to a construction site and you have a construction worker giving hand signals,” said Phantom Auto’s Elliot Katz. “The vehicle may approach that construction site and just completely be paralyzed at that point. The vehicle itself would ping a Phantom Auto remote operator. The remote operator would be able to drive you through the construction site in the same way you could drive through a construction site today.”
Federal regulations are stalled in Congress leaving oversight largely to the states. Some are stricter than others. The self-driving Uber crash that killed a pedestrian in Arizona has prompted states to take a second look at their regulations as the technology is not foolproof
Phantom Auto sees its service working a bit like on-star, a remote help desk reachable automatically or with the touch of a button by passengers, where one person could be the backup driver for multiple vehicles, leaving the backup for the self- driving car firmly in the hands of a person.MORE NEWS: Sharp Increase In Hospitalized Children With Covid Investigated In South Africa
Nissan is working a system where the autonomous vehicle would stop and wait for a remote user to draw it a map around an obstacle.