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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Even the best self-driving cars are only a Category 2, out of 5, so if you want a truly driverless car then this is as close as you’ll get for now.

 

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Driverless cars are quietly taking over the streets of several cities around the world, and now US ride-hailing provider Halo have announced they’ve started offering commercial driverless car services in Las Vegas powered by T-Mobile’s ultra-fast  and brand new 5G network. With Halo, customers can quickly summon a driverless all-electric taxi in a few clicks via a mobile app and then a driverless Halo arrives, controlled by a remote operator, and they hop in and drive themselves to their destination.

 

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There’s one important thing to point out though – these driverless cars are actually driven by operators who are sitting in a head office far far away.

The company first started operating its cars Las Vegas earlier this year and they’ve been collaborating with local municipalities to accelerate the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) to help solve some of the city’s traffic congestion and carbon emission problems by connecting the city’s public transit systems to their on-demand driverless cars. When fully deployed in the city Halo says they have the opportunity to replace thousands of personally owned cars and “create a more traffic-free, carbon-free, blue-sky world.”

 

Halo Car’s explainer

 

“Fuelling this kind of startup innovation is part of why we’ve built the biggest, fastest and most reliable 5G network in the country,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “Innovation and driving change for the better is our DNA at the Un-carrier, and we’ve unleashed a 5G network that will transform industries and change our world for the better. I can’t wait to see what comes next as we work with startups, developers and entrepreneurs like Halo building the next big thing in 5G!”

 

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Via its proprietary “RemotePilot” technology Halo trains in-house drivers to remotely operate the driverless car over T-Mobile’s 5G network and they’ve also developed an Advanced Safe Stop Mechanism that enable their cars to immediately come to a full stop if a potential safety hazard is detected. They’ve also been developing their own Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm that learns in the background while humans control the vehicle and building a unique feedback loop that, in time, will help their cars achieve Level 3 driverless car capabilities.

“Driverless vehicles require a network with high capacity, broad coverage and low latency, making T-Mobile’s 5G network a perfect match for developers such as Halo,” said John Saw, EVP of Advanced and Emerging Technologies at T-Mobile. “There’s a lot of work to do on the path to full autonomy, and Halo is taking their own unique and intelligent approach to get there.”

 

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“Full autonomy is a massive challenge from both a technical and social trust perspective that won’t be solved for years to come,” added Anand Nandakumar, Halo CEO and founder. “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.”

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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