April 25, 2017 - Dubois, WY. - An exciting technology is coming with the bold assertiveness that we haven't seen since the worldwide adoption of the internet. River Pilot, the leader in consumer and commercial PND fixed path and adaptive navigation, is preparing a team to harness the advent of self driving vehicles. Our goal is to integrate into any of the navigation platforms that the self driving vehicle manufacturer chooses to deploy. Multiple technologies will be integrated in order to have the vehicle know where its going.
All manner of self driving vehicles are approaching that will allow for a person to 1. Drive themselves 2. Allow the vehicle to drive 3. A hybrid where both the vehicle and human alternate driving based on the anticipated or sometimes unexpected, plan of the day.
These vehicles will be cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATV, snowmobiles, planes, UAs/UAv, tractors, full size trucks, busses, heavy equipment and any other rolling stock deemed suitable and necessary.
Today, a GPS generally routes based on known parameters. They are: fastest distance, shortest time or off road. Currently, there are ancillary routing options like curvy road, avoid toll roads, etc. The final option is where River Pilot will use our expertise. We plan a DEFINED, QUANTIFIABLE, SCOUTED route based on customer choice or objective. Then, we program the vehicle to do what we planned. We know exactly what the vehicle will do, predictably time and time again.
For the past 6 years, River Pilot has been assembling an archive of current and historic roads across multiple continents. Our largest data package is in the USA. Through extensive field work, we have scouted and archived these old historic roads and digitized them.
In 2011, we deployed our Route 66 GPS Attractions Guide. During the Route 66 data capture phase, River Pilot noted that many of the original roads were drivable but were not showing up on the GPS. River Pilot had those roads added and incorrect alignments removed. In mid 2013, many of those "lost" roads "magically" appeared. Soon after, many electronic outlets began to produce similar routes taking the roads that now appeared on their GPS.
Why is this important? Answer: Because once the autonomous vehicle technology has shaken out, we will be back to what we do as humans. We use our cars to do mundane chores, as tools and to explore by ourselves or with others. There will be times when you will let the vehicle navigate on its own based on current and predicted road conditions. Then there will be the times that River Pilot technology comes in. We will define the path that your self driving vehicle takes. That can be a leisurely scenic path or an efficient path defined by daily or business needs. Finally, on a tour we will program the exact path and stops for the vehicle to follow.
There are essentially two types of tours; guided and self drive. A guided tour is generally well defined, supported and offers guests the opportunity to experience the days events without having to be too involved. A self drive tour engages the guest. They are responsible for daily navigation, taking care of their food, gas and accommodations and integrating the days sights into the daily plan. The new autonomous vehicles will do BOTH.
What we have to overcome is this. As we have lectured and spoken about is the fact that the self driving vehicle has to drive the map in its database then compare it with a plethora or real time data. HERE HD, OSM, Google Maps, Tele Atlas and others are all slightly different with different datum, POI's, roads and other small deviations. The car will need one of them to work as its primary map. One can't plan a route on Google Maps and then drive a HERE HD map in the car. Maybe, just maybe in the future with quantum computing, the vehicle will combine all of them, connected, in real time. Then, the above can be done.
River Pilot is currently assembling self driving vehicle tours that will drive a defined set of roads point to point. These will be tours that will save money for all parties, be efficient and allow scale.
We look forward to hearing from those that are interested in this new technology. As we progress forward, we have the knowledge, skills and team to bring about the roads we know so well. Having a mutual platform that can be built upon with an API will be the key. We call those API plans: Fixed Plan Navigation, Adaptive Plan Navigation and Smart Plan Navigation
- River Pilot