Aug 14, 2019

Tackling the task of deploying and routing self-driving cars

Photo: Erik Dreyer/Getty Images

Automated vehicles, when they are ready, won't magically deploy themselves into robo-taxi services. They will require sophisticated dispatch and routing software like Uber and Lyft use today to match passengers with vehicles and get them to their destination.

Why it matters: Most AV developers don't specialize in routing. They're focused on the AI and robotics necessary for vehicles to drive themselves.

  • To become a viable business, self-driving cars will have to be deployed as a transportation service that is safe, reliable and affordable.

What's happening: RideOS, a San Francisco-based startup founded by former Uber engineers, has developed an open-source platform that any company can use to create its own ride-hailing network.

  • It's the first time a set of ride-hailing applications has been open-sourced, allowing customers to rebrand or build new features on top of RideOS' technology.
  • The Ridehail platform is compatible with both human- and robot-driven vehicles.

Among its initial customers is Voyage, the self-driving startup focused on ride-hailing in retirement communities, whose CEO, Oliver Cameron, is glad to tap RideOS' expertise.

  • "We will always focus on what we do best, which is providing autonomous vehicle technology," he tells Axios. "We're not the world's best at building routing, pricing or apps."

What to watch: There's no reason Uber or Lyft couldn't squash a startup like RideOS if they decided to resell their own routing and dispatch software to other companies. It's basic plumbing, after all. So far, there's no sign that they plan to.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.

WHO temporarily suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization is temporarily pausing tests of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment in order to review safety concerns, the agency's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu said Monday.

Why it matters: The decision comes after a retrospective review published in The Lancet found that coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine or its related drug chloroquine were more likely to die or develop an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to sudden cardiac death, compared to those who did nothing.