Image courtesy: Designated Driver

Texas A&M deploys remote, human-in-the-loop safety net for self-driving shuttles

Texas A&M University is putting a human behind the wheel of its autonomous shuttle fleet with a partnership with Designated Driver, a teleoperation technology company and provides remote human guidance to autonomous vehicles. The first use case: overriding the shuttles’ autonomy at four-way intersections.

“Among our most important observations over the past six months, we found that four-way intersections and stops were the most common scenarios where our safety driver had to intervene. Designated Driver's technology provides both remote driving and remote assistance – ideal for easily and safely guiding a vehicle through an intersection,” says Dr. Srikanth Saripalli, an associate professor in the J. Mike Walker '66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M, who has overseen the shuttle project since its inception in October 2018.


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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at

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