Starlink and T-Mobile the partnership will be revolutionary for cellular service and Chris Piche, CEO of Smarter AI, reflected on the impact of the new partnership on 5G capability for the automotive industry.
Chris, who created services such as AT&T TV, BBM Video, Poly Video and STUN/TURN/ICE, shared his thoughts on the effect of 5G on vehicles and telecommunications in an interview with Teslarati.
AI cameras, Tesla, Starlink and autonomous vehicles
Prior to founding Smarter AI, the Top 40 Entrepreneur Under 40 company created BlackBerry-licensed technology to enable voice and video calls. It gave Chris a front row seat to witness the speed at which technology can transform markets.
Smarter AI is a software platform for artificial intelligence cameras.
“Smarter AI is to cameras what Android and iOS are to phones,” he told me. The company’s first vertical market focuses on transportation. Vehicle camera systems such as dash cams or other camera systems for larger vehicles are found in this market.
“The connection here with Tesla, Starlink, and T-Mobile is about autonomous transportation. Today’s autonomous transportation, whether it’s a Tesla or another type of vehicle, relies on knowledge of In Tesla’s case, they rely on some cases exclusively and other cases mostly on cameras and computer vision to try to figure out what’s going on around the car.
“A lot of their competitors use LiDAR and don’t rely on cameras. But either way, it’s all about line of sight. What they can actually see in a straight line.
See beyond the line of sight
Chris told me that one of the new technologies being developed by Smarter AI and other companies is called vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) or vehicle-to-everything (V2X).
“These technologies allow cars to see beyond the line of sight. Imagine that you are coming to an intersection and planning to take a turn.
Instead of waiting to see what awaits you on the street you turn to, technology will tell you exactly what to expect. It could be a stopped car, a pedestrian about to cross, or some type of temporary obstruction that you are unaware of.
“Imagine if there was a camera system located at the intersection. Imagine that when your vehicle approaches that intersection, your vehicle could communicate with the camera and the camera could tell your vehicle that there is a sort of obstacle.
An autonomous vehicle would use this information to determine whether or not it can make this turn. This technology, Chris told me, relies on high-capacity, high-availability communication networks such as 5G.
Starlink and T-Mobile partnership could help address V2V and V2X implementation challenges
“One of the challenges with implementing technologies like V2V or V2X on top of 5G is that 5G deployments tend to be quite good and improving in large urban areas.”
5G is quite spotty in Baton Rouge and personally 4G LTE works faster than 5G for me, although there is a tower in front of me. Chris, who is in Las Vegas, said the coverage was pretty good for his friend from AT&T. He doesn’t have AT&T and his coverage is pretty spotty like mine.
“But this agreement with Starlink and T-Mobile has the promise or potential to eliminate or significantly reduce the imperfections of 5G coverage and it will allow technologies designed on top of 5G such as V2V and V2X to work in a way More reliable. in urban areas where 5G is already available but is a bit spotty,” he said.
“It would also allow these technologies to work in other areas where there is no 5G. We think this is a really important announcement in terms of the promise of autonomous transport and bringing its reality. “
How V2V and V2X Could Improve Tesla’s Autopilot
Chris told me he’s been using Tesla’s Autopilot for about five years.
“It’s so good. It’s to the point that for the things he can see, he’s a much better driver than me,” he said, adding that when driving for more than a few minutes, it was engaging the autopilot, however, there are a few things missing.
“He can’t see that far ahead and he lacks context. Sometimes if there is a car turning in front of my car, the autopilot will not understand the context that maybe this other car is momentarily in front of mine. And if I was driving, I would continue to drive. I wouldn’t let off the gas or hit the brakes unless I saw something was wrong with the turn the other car was making.
One way to improve the autopilot is to use V2V or V2X, Chris explained.
“In V2V, my car would talk to the turning car in front of me and they would orchestrate the speed and direction of the two cars so that the car in front of me could turn and my car could keep going without slamming on the brakes.
“With V2X, it would allow my car to talk to cameras, traffic lights and intersections to get situational awareness of either other cars that are not equipped with the same technology or other objects such as bicycles, pedestrians or other obstacles in the street.”
Note: Johnna is a shareholder of Tesla and supports its mission.
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