Robotic Research, Verizon collaborate on autonomous shuttles at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Future expansion of 5G network hails promise of “remote safety attendant” for self-driving vehicles

CLARKSBURG, Md.--()--Robotic Research, LLC (, a global leader in autonomous driving technology and solutions, and Verizon Public Sector, a key Department of Defense digital transformation partner, announced today their joint support of an autonomous shuttle pilot project with US Ignite, Local Motors, and NavalX SoCal Tech Bridge as part of the 5G Living Lab at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, in San Diego.

As part of the 90-day pilot, Robotic Research is providing the autonomous driving technology for Local Motors' autonomous shuttle, Olli, transporting people and packages around MCAS Miramar, leveraging Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband to transmit the vast system and sensor data collected by the shuttle back to Robotic Research’s nSight™ Vault storage service.

“Once the data is uploaded to nSight Vault through Verizon’s 5G network, our nSight Review system monitors health and performs data analytics to continuously improve the operation of the autonomous shuttles,” said Joe Putney, Director of Commercial Systems at Robotic Research. “We really benefit from Verizon’s 5G service at MCAS Miramar providing real-time access to the large amounts of data generated by the system.”

Verizon Public Sector and MCAS Miramar announced the first-ever 5G Ultra Wideband deployment on a military base last July. Since then, in collaboration with a number of strategic partners, they have created a true testbed for innovation, exploring 5G-enabled innovations across autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and drones.

Robotic Research officials see the nationwide rollout of 5G as creating huge opportunities for autonomous vehicles by enabling higher-bandwidth and real-time sharing of data between vehicles and between vehicles and infrastructure. Among the other areas of focus being pursued, the 5G Labs team within Verizon is exploring the benefits of 5G around public safety, frictionless commerce, and energy management.

“We have worked collaboratively with the NWIC Pacific team to create a true testbed for innovation at MCAS Miramar,” said Jennifer Chronis, Senior Vice President of Public Sector at Verizon. “Leaders across the Department of Defense understand the mission-critical role 5G plays in unlocking innovation for the military, and strategic partners like Robotic Research are bringing to life some of the exciting technologies that are possible when you integrate 5G.”

One area of innovation includes onboard safety attendants. Currently, in most autonomous shuttles, there is a steward who monitors the health and status of the vehicle. But as the autonomous industry continues to mature, it could follow a similar model to that of home security systems.

“Rather than having a security guard in your home, there is a security system that provides information to a centralized location, where a single person can monitor many homes simultaneously,” Putney said. “Similarly, you could have automated vehicles sharing data with a centralized monitoring station, so a single person can monitor and control a fleet of vehicles.”

All that is required is a reliable data backbone, and Robotic Research officials see Verizon’s 5G network as the next step in the right direction.

Both Robotic Research and Verizon will be showcasing the benefits of combined 5G and autonomous mobility during the Electric Mobility Symposium, June 24th at MCAS Miramar.

About Robotic Research

Robotic Research is U.S.-based, global leader in localization, autonomy, and robotic technology transforming the way we move. Founded in 2002, the Company has been a trusted technology partner to the public and private sector for nearly twenty years. From people to platforms, at home or overseas, Robotic Research is driven to make the way you move smarter, safer, and more efficient.

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Taylor Smith