Peachtree Corners Provides Test Site for California-based Remote Driving Technology Company

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

The city recently announced its partnership with Sprint to build Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, a 5G state-of-the-art test track for developing and demonstrating self-driving shuttles as well as serving as a testbed for Smart City technologies. The living laboratory, located on Technology Parkway, is expected to be operational by early summer. The news has already attracted Curiosity™ Lab’s first customer even before the 1.5-mile track is complete.

Phantom Auto, a technology company that offers a teleoperation-as-a-service solution for autonomous vehicles (AV), recently visited Peachtree Corners to demonstrate its technology for a number of Fortune 100 and 500 businesses. The city provided the route that the Mountain View, California-based company used to test its remote driver teleoperation platform. From 2,500 miles away, a remote operator successfully drove a vehicle along a 10-minute route in Peachtree Corners.

“This was a terrific opportunity to demonstrate our technology to several major U.S. companies and show how they could integrate our technology into their businesses,” said Phantom Auto Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Elliot Katz. “We were extremely pleased to be able to work with Peachtree Corners. The city moved at ‘startup speed’ to make this possible.”

The technology to develop fully autonomous vehicles still has some gaps, which according to some, may persist in perpetuity. Thus, Phantom Auto offers remote driving technology that would allow a tele-operator -- driving from up to thousands of miles away -- to take over when a situation arises that the autonomous vehicle is not equipped to manage.  

As the future of AV technology continues to evolve, the possibility of remote operators assisting AVs traveling down the road, may be on the horizon.

“As the home of Technology Park Atlanta, Peachtree Corners has long been associated with being at the forefront of new technology,” said City Manager, Brian Johnson. “This was a chance to showcase our efforts by expanding and supporting innovative emerging technology. Curiosity™ Lab at Peachtree Corners is a prime example of the type of real-world laboratory environment that allows emerging technology to be tested and demonstrated here in our city.”

The city expects the 5G testing laboratory to attract both startups and established companies to experiment and to use the track for testing software and hardware technology. Prototype Prime, the city’s startup incubator will play an important part in the living-laboratory test track that houses an Intelligent Mobility accelerator to support emerging AV technology businesses.