May 14, 2019


On June 6 in Seattle, join CEO Manuela Papadopol and other automotive and tech leaders as they discuss the latest trends and how new technologies are defining the future of mobility.

The $3 trillion global automotive industry is going through a major transformation with ride/car sharing services, electric, autonomous and connected vehicle technologies gaining rapid evolution and adoption. Being the epicenter of cloud innovation, Seattle is attracting an increasing number of mobility companies including Mercedes, GM Cruise, Uber, Lyft, Grab and others.

Smart Mobility Seattle, together with TiE Seattle, has created a spotlight event on Smart Mobility. This event brings some of the industry leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and the community together to discuss industry trends, the role of cloud tech and the future of mobility.

Manuela Papadopol, Designated Driver’s CEO, will join Glympse CEO Chris Ruff, Migo CEO Jeff Warren and Airbiquity CRO David Jumpa for a panel discussion on emerging opportunities in mobility. An additional panel, focused on cloud and the future of mobility, features Mercedes head of MBRDNA Seattle Mike Dosenbach, Grab head of R&D Milind Mahajan, and Microsoft Senior Director of Corporate Business Development for IoT and Intelligent Edge Avijit Sinha.

Automotive Cloud and the Future of Mobility
Date: June 6
Time: 6 pm – 9 pm
Venue: thinkspace Seattle

Learn more about Designated Driver and our approach to teleoperation services.

May 6, 2019


AI for Good Global Summit is the leading United Nations platform for global and inclusive dialogue on AI. Hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in partnership with UN Sister agencies, XPRIZE Foundation and ACM, the goal of the summit is to identify practical applications of AI and ensure trusted, safe and inclusive development of AI technologies and equitable access to their benefits.

Taking place May 28-31 in Geneva, Switzerland, the summit brings together leading minds in AI, industry leaders, academia and government officials to act as speakers, mentors and participants in expert debates on AI technology, policy and strategy. Participants can view dynamic demos and join workshops and boot-camps. As a result of the action-oriented AI Breakthrough Tracks, last year’s summit saw more than 35 projects generated, including satellite, smart cities and health focused initiatives.

Designated Driver CEO Manuela Papadopol will be featured in the Future of Smart & Safe Mobility session, joining Head of Data Science Mike Tamir of UBER, Adrien Gaidon of the Toyota Research Institute, CEO Carsten Breitfeld of Byton and others. Topics will include creating trust in autonomous driving, how the future of mobility will change the way we live and work as well as urban/suburban environments, safety and security risks associated with connected and autonomous driving, impact of 5G, future of transport and more.

Learn more about Designated Driver and our approach to teleoperation services.

Apr 24, 2019


Taking place May 2-3 in Killarney, Kerry, Ireland, as part of Electronomous, the MobilityX conference is a unique opportunity for leaders from the autonomous vehicle and mobility industry–from disruptive startups to global corporations–to connect and discuss how automated vehicles can radically alter our cities, make our cities healthier and improve the lives of millions of people.

Manuela Papadopol, Designated Driver’s CEO, will join Bobby Hambrick of AutonomouStuff, Luc Vincent of Lyft, Dennis Liu of Ford and others on stage to discuss key themes, including:

  • AUTONOMY: Some of the leading companies in the autonomous vehicle space will share the latest innovations in machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence in transportation.
  • CONNECTED: Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Cloud communications will become increasingly important in the coming years, as cars transform from independent entities to a mesh network of interconnected vehicles, all communicating with each other.
  • ELECTRIC: As battery technology continues to advance and costs continue to decline, more and more manufacturers will turn to electrification to power their vehicles. Presenters will talk about new charging systems, platforms and how startups and large companies are using electricity to power transport in the future.
  • SHARED: Car sharing is becoming more and more common in large cities around the world. Consumers and manufacturers are learning how to adapt to the changing marketplace and demands it puts on local infrastructure.

Recognizing that the transportation industry will change more in the next five yeas than it has in the past 50, MobilityX is designed for the most innovative executives in the self-driving industry.

Learn more about Designated Driver and our approach to teleoperation services.

Apr 2, 2019


Electrification, ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles are the next big change in the world of mobility. It diminishes traffic and congestion, leads to safer roads and improves urban areas. However, getting a new technology to market takes time. It takes even longer if that technology has anything to do with people’s safety. You want to make sure the people interacting with your product are as safe as possible—and that takes a lot of simulation, testing and readjusting.

For example, imagine you’re developing an autonomous shuttle system for a college campus. In addition to being safe, it needs to be effective and efficient to get students to class on time. But campuses are notorious for their huge fluctuations in vehicle and foot traffic: In the early mornings or the summer, they can be ghost towns; yet you’ll see throngs of people, bicycles, and cars just before the start of the most popular class times.

Input from multiple types of sensors, when processed by an excellent autonomy system, is a great start in navigating those complex situations. But “training” the autonomous vehicle to deal with them could take more time than you’d like and releasing the vehicle to the market too soon presents a liability you don’t need.

That’s where teleoperation comes in. A highly trained, off-site human can use all the sensor data your autonomy software uses but make decisions it can’t or hasn’t yet learned to and act on them to keep the passengers and surrounding humans safe. Consider these three examples:

Campus safety officers
An autonomous vehicle can navigate normal campus conditions safely. But it may come to a stop when it detects a human in the road, not recognizing that it is a campus police officer directing traffic. A teleoperator can recognize the hand signals and takeover the controls long enough to appropriately guide the shuttle safely through the situation until the coast is clear.

College campuses are subject to the same extremes of weather as everywhere else. That means that your automated shuttle needs to be able to deal with high winds, heavy rain, fog and other driving challenges presented by Mother Nature. An IMU and other sensors can help the car deal with weather-related risks, but it would take quite a while to learn all of them. Better to have a teleoperator with maps and screens standing by to help navigate if things get too complex and determine when it’s just not safe for the shuttle to continue operation.

The human element
Campuses may be hesitant to invest in shuttles that have no human element. According to AAA’s annual automated vehicle survey, 71 percent of people are afraid to ride in fully self-driving vehicles. AAA believes the key to helping consumers feel more comfortable with fully self-driving vehicles will be bridging the gap between the perception of automated vehicle technology and the reality of how it actually works in today’s cars. Knowing that there is an actual human being there to keep them safe represents an instrumental value and can allay passengers’ concerns about riding in an autonomous vehicle.

Our teleoperation software can fit seamlessly into an autonomous shuttle’s existing technology, making it easier to get them to market and doing what they’re designed to do: help college campuses run more efficiently and safely.

Learn more about Designated Driver and our approach to teleoperation services.

Mar 18, 2019


We’re thrilled to introduce our first customer, AutonomouStuff, and the availability of our solution for the safe, secure and reliable teleoperation for vehicles with automation level 2 and up, as well as vertical market applications such as agriculture and mining. AutonomouStuff, a Hexagon company, is the world leader in supplying research-and-development platforms, products, software and engineering services for the advancement of robotics and autonomy systems.

Our customizable teleoperation kit is available on the AutonomouStuff website starting today and the company will also be distributing and integrating Designated Driver into its platforms for autonomous vehicle development.

“The market need for Designated Driver is truly significant as it will help facilitate adoption of autonomous vehicles,” said Bobby Hambrick, founder and CEO, AutonomouStuff. “Remote control provides riders with the assurance that they will arrive at their destination even if there is a technical issue with their autonomous vehicle, and we see it as required functionality for all self-driving vehicles. With Designated Driver’s depth of expertise and focus on functional safety, its solution is superior.”

Designated Driver is demonstrating its solution in a test vehicle during NVIDIA GTC, the premier deep learning and AI conference in San Jose, CA. Our solution enables remote control of vehicles in the event of obstructions, challenging road conditions, sensor malfunction or where operation is difficult or hazardous. We’re committed to the highest standards of automotive functional safety.

Ours is the only solution offering both remote driving and remote assistance models for teleoperation. Other remote-control solutions enable either the remote driving model, with the teleoperator fully taking charge of the car, using the cameras and sensors in the vehicle to maneuver it, or the remote assistance model that requires a very brief teleoperator engagement. In most real-world scenarios, such as a crowded construction site or a temporary roadblock, the autonomy system is fully functional but simply unable to determine the safest path forward. With the remote assistance model, teleoperators are able to model a path for a vehicle “offline” so the vehicle can navigate safely, without any direct human intervention.

“In addition to addressing the critical and non-negotiable issues of latency and safety, our product has been designed to be easy to deploy and use, enabling the best user interaction and experience for both passengers and teleoperators,” said Designated Driver CEO Manuela Papadopol. “Measuring and understanding the behavior of teleoperators is not trivial and has been built into the product roadmap from day one. We have created Designated Driver to be best in class, and are especially proud to be working with AutonomouStuff, which provides automakers and suppliers the most cutting-edge solutions for robotics and autonomy.”

The Designated Driver team is actively researching and developing a remote operation center console customized to the unique needs of teleoperators.

Buy your teleoperations kit today.