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Self-Driving Fleets Under Construction Courtesy Robin North

It won’t be too long before you get a chance to ride a public bus that drives by itself. Yes, that day is nearing, when the vehicles would be programmed to help you reach your destinations safely, sans a driver. The high-tech software would soon replace drivers, says Robin North, who is developing a technology that could control vehicles from the base.

North is joined by three other engineers to help Immense Simulations blossom from its British government funded research group. Currently, they are selling technology that can control thousands of  driver-less vehicles at one go. North points out that such fleets would be “strategically autonomous” as they will be synched to a huge network system.

Immense Simulations is presently aiming at traditional vehicle operators, city authorities like Transport for London and other new firms who are interested in trying a hand in the fledgling industry. The software is fired up by a Cloud-based, simulation platform from a London startup named Improbable. This platform is capable of supporting large-scale, detailed simulation of cities, which allows Immense to determine how vehicles would react to weather changes and other factors on the road, including pedestrians, animals and other vehicles.

Immense got onboard with Improbable when the startup launched its Spatial operating system platform to early clients, which mainly included game developers. The four-membered team put together the concept in the early 2015, under the tutelage of the British Transport System’s Catapult network.

“This stuff is going to be really important to companies like Uber and Lyft in the future,” says Herman Narula, who co-founded Improbable. “It’s not enough to get the cars driving themselves. You need to think about the problem of large-scale fleets.”


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