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Clevon and the University of Tartu are developing remote control of vehicles

The University of Tartu’s self-driving test vehicle now has remote control capabilities, thanks to the cooperation between Clevon and the University of Tartu. On the left Clevon’s CEO Sander Sebastian Agur  and on the right Tambet Matiisen, technology manager of Autonomous Driving Lab. Photo: Clevon

Estonian startup Clevon and the Institute of Computer Science of the University of Tartu signed a three-year cooperation agreement to develop remote control of vehicles.

According to Tambet Matiisen, the technology manager of Autonomous Driving Lab, teleoperation systems are important. “Remote control is an important technical solution in today’s autonomous vehicles, allowing the vehicle to seek assistance from a human in unexpected traffic situations, such as roadworks or traffic jams,” said Matiisen. He added that this allows the self-driving car to travel outside the mapped area, for example, to drop off passengers at their doorstep instead of the nearest bus stop.

Clevon emphasises the importance of cooperation with the university. “Collaboration provides us with valuable feedback to further develop our platform and create new solutions that meet both current and future transportation needs,” explained Clevon CEO Sander Sebastian Agur. In addition to new development directions, Clevon is interested in contributing to science and potential research focusing on autonomy or teleoperations.

According to Tambet Matiisen, further research is warranted on the remote control solution. “For example, we plan to investigate the situational awareness of the remote operator: how well does a person who is not actually in the car perceive the traffic situation? We also want to test the cybersecurity of the technology, and how easy it would be for a potential attacker to take over control of the car. Finally, we aim to develop alternative control methods, such as an option for the remote operator to see their surroundings from a bird’s-eye view or through virtual reality glasses,” Matiisen explained.

Estonian driverless innovator Clevon was founded in 2022 after spinning off from Cleveron, an Estonian company that produces robotics-based parcel terminals and creates click-and-collect solutions for retail and logistics sectors. Clevon manufactures autonomous robot carriers and uses them to service customers in different countries, such as Estonia, the USA (Texas), and the Netherlands.

Recently, Clevon expanded its presence in Lithuania to add 25 new driverless delivery robots to Lithuania’s public roads. The company is aiming for a broader European expansion by 2026.

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