As dozens of companies have worked to bring autonomous vehicles (AVs) to life, most of the outside focus has been directed at safety and legal concerns. While engineers are fine-tuning sensors, cameras and artificial intelligence systems to ensure vehicles properly recognize objects, brake when they are supposed to and safely deliver passengers and cargo to their proper destination, others are looking at what other benefits AVs could bring to the world.
It boils down to this question: Is there a greater societal good that can come from AVs?
Motional thinks so. The Boston-based company, which is a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group and technology company Aptiv, is running a pilot program with Eversource, New England’s largest utility. The program is using Motional vehicles operating within Eversource’s service territory of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut to collect data and information on Eversource’s utility infrastructure and report that data back to the utility.