Drivent exits stealth mode, announces certification to test autonomous vehicles in Washington state

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Self-driving technology company Drivent has exited stealth mode, announcing that it has been certified to test autonomous vehicles in the state of Washington.

The company has also unveiled what it calls “essential” technologies for autonomous vehicles.

“Years ago, we realized that encouraging widespread adoption of self-driving vehicles would require more than just making cars that don't crash,” explains Eric Wengreen, Drivent co-founder.

“While the autonomous industry focused on collision-avoidance technology, we focused on developing technology to overcome the non-collision barriers to adoption of autonomous vehicles.”

Drivent’s proprietary technology includes a variety of features to overcome the non-collision barriers to adoption of autonomous vehicles, including fire protection, communication systems, and features that optimize the user experience.

Citing a report from the National Fire Protection Association entitled ‘Fire Loss in the United States During 2017,’ approximately 168,000 vehicle fires per year occur in the United States. Drivent says that “without the necessary technology to detect and respond to a fire in an autonomous vehicle, the vehicle would continue driving while passengers are injured by the fire.” With this in mind, Drivent has developed proprietary technologies that detect a fire in an autonomous vehicle, and make the vehicle automatically pull over so that passengers can make their exit.

Drivent cites another statistic—this time from The Stanford Open Policing Project, entitled ‘Findings’— that shows that U.S. police officers pull over more than 50,000 vehicles per day. With no driver behind the wheel, autonomous vehicles need to have a way to communicate with officers.

“Officers expect to find and speak with a person when they pull over or otherwise interact with an autonomous vehicle,” says Jim Burch, president of the National Police Foundation. 

“Without Drivent's technology, an officer would have limited options for resolving the issue, which could lead to significant time loss for public safety and occupants as well as more significant consequences, including potential impoundment.”

Drivent’s proprietary technologies enables a vehicle representative, located at a centralized call center, to speak with police officers, tow-truck operators, road-rage instigators, and other people outside the vehicle as situations require.  

Drivent's technologies also include a feature that make sure dead phone batteries do not result in people being stranded without a ride; a feature that allows autonomous vehicles to accurately predict when and where a person will want a ride; and a feature that provides more capabilities that enhance the autonomous vehicle user experience.

“Many of Drivent's solutions will have the greatest impact not as stand-alone systems, but rather as elements integrated into the products and services of much larger players in the autonomous vehicle market,” says Wes Schwie, Drivent's co-founder.

“Drivent exited stealth mode to collaborate with industry leaders. We are excited to meet with additional companies.”

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