Ghost Locomotion Emerges from Stealth Mode, Plans to Retrofit Cars for Self-driving
【Summary】A new Silicon Valley startup named Ghost Locomotion has emerged from stealth mode. Ghost’s autonomous driving system is designed to retrofit a production vehicle for highway driving, a much less complicated problem for software engineers to solve.
A new Silicon Valley startup named Ghost Locomotion has emerged from stealth mode. The Mountain View Calif-based company joins dozens of other automaker and startups working on self-driving cars.
However, Ghost, which was founded in 2017, is not building self-driving cars, instead its is taking production vehicles and retrofitting them become autonomous capable.
The company mission is to offer self-driving technology to the millions of regular vehicles that are already on the road. Unlike Waymo and Uber, which are designing systems that take people from door-to-door, Ghost's autonomous driving system is designed for highway driving, a much less complicated problem for software engineers to solve.
Ghost raised $63.7 million in capital to date from Founders Fund's Keith Rabois, Khosla Ventures' Vinod Khosla, and Sutter Hill Ventures' Mike Speiser, according to Venturebeat. All three investors have a seat on the company's board of directors.
Ghost bills itself as an AI company that drives your vehicle for you the highway. The company takes a standard car and adds a hardware kit that includes radar, ultrasonic sensors, as well as a suite of cameras to turn it into a self-driving vehicle. Once installed on the vehicle, the tiny cameras are neatly concealed. Ghost says the system works with 2012 model year and newer vehicles. However, the vehicle must be equipped with a steer-by-wire system.
By focusing on solving highway driving Ghost is simplifying the enormous technical challenges of self-driving vehicles. The company says it can deliver real self-driving, exit-to-exit on the highway, and solve a problem for everyone driving on today's roads.
Tesla's Autopilot and General Motors' Super Cruise automated driving systems were also developed initially for highway driving.
John Hayes, founder and CEO of Ghost, wrote in a blog post that highway driving is the simplest and most common form of driving today. He wrote that two-thirds of all miles driven in the U.S. are on highways, describing it as being "designed for high speeds with minimal complexity." Whereas self-driving vehicles in urban environments face a much more difficult challenge, having to contend with unpredictable pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.
Ghost is designing its software to drive better than the best human driver. Ghost says its technology allows a driver to relax on the highway and fully disengage for their entire commute.
"Most people agree that if a self-driving car performs better than a human driver, it is fit to drive on today's roads. That's why at Ghost, humans are the standard against which we measure ourselves." wrote Hayes in a blog post.
Ghost starts by collecting camera data crowdsourced from drivers. The data give Ghost's engineering team insights of how humans drive in the real world. Ghost uses the data, along with other important mapping data, to train machine learning models to drive more like a human.
To gather as much training data as possible, Ghost recruited Uber and Lyft drivers to help them collect it. Ghost plans to add hundreds of vehicles to its data collecting fleet in the upcoming months.
Ghost is working to ensure that its system operates with the highest level of safety, beginning with software execution, the company says. Ghost claims it's the first self-driving company to formally verify its real-time driving system, a process the company says is usually reserved for the aerospace and defense industries, to ensure perfect software execution. Through formal verification, Ghost says its autonomous driving system is void of any software bugs or glitches.
With tech companies and automakers are busy planning the launch of commercial autonomous robotaxi services and self-driving cars that can navigate in urban environments, automated highway driving just might an easier problem to solve in the interim. Ghost is one of the few companies specifically focused on achieving that goal.
"We believe the highway is the fastest way to get there." Hayes wrote.
Waymo Has Tens of Thousands of San Francisco Residents on a Waitlist to Take a Ride in One of its Robotaxis
Electric Truck Maker Rivian Selects Amazon Web Services as its Preferred Cloud Provider
BMW i Ventures Leads Series B Funding Round of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Nanocoating Technology Company actnano Inc.
Rivian Notifies Reservation Holders That the R1S Electric SUV Will Be Delayed Until Mid-2022
XPeng Announces its Q3 Financial Results, Continues to Post Record EV Sales
General Motors Invests in Seattle-based Electric Boat Maker Pure Watercraft
Amazon Driver Reports 40% Faster Battery Drain When Using Climate Controls in Rivian’s Electric Delivery Van, The Information Reports
China’s Baidu is Now the World's Largest Robotaxi Operator After Completing 115,000 Fully-Autonomous Rides in Q3
- Ford Motor Co is Recalling the New Bronco Sport, Escape SUVs for Underperforming Brakes
- Semiconductor Chip Shortage Could Extend Well Into 2022
- Apple is Talks with Toyota to Build its Electric Car, Reports Say
- Stellantis, LG Partner For EV Battery Plant for North American Cars
- Tesla Challenger XPeng Celebrates the Production of its 100,000th Electric Vehicle
- General Motors Extends Production Shutdown of the Chevy Bolt EV Until Sept 24 Due to Battery Recall
- The 2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Specs & Pricing Announced
- Ford Motor Co Poaches Former Tesla, Apple Car Exec to Lead its Connected Vehicle & Embedded Systems Development
- Hydrogen-Electric Truck Maker Nikola Corp Announces Major Fuel Cell Production Agreement with Bosch
- Shares of Electric Truck Maker Rivian Will Start Trading on the NASDAQ on Wednesday