New remote control vehicles being tested at Pittsburgh International Airport

PITTSBURGH — The newest in driving technology is being tested at Pittsburgh International Airport. Mapless AI co-founders Jeffrey Kane Johnson and Philipp Robbel developed technology that can turn any regular vehicle into a remote-controlled one.

The company has two KIAs outfitted with the technology, mainly on the roof and in the trunk, which allows an operator from miles away to drive the cars remotely.

Mapless AI says in just a couple of years they’ll be able to have these vehicles pick you up at your car and then you can drive yourself the terminal. Users will be able to summon one of the vehicles with an app, and an operator in downtown Pittsburgh, connected to the vehicle via commercial cellular networks, will drive the car to your location. It will even remember where you parked your car!

Johnson explained how these cars differentiate from self-driving vehicles.

“The big difference for us is there’s still a human — a person, a human being looking at video and audio feeds and making decisions about what the car should or shouldn’t do.”

The vehicles have multiple cameras looking in every direction and some autonomous features for safety purposes. Johnson says he’d like to see the technology installed in vehicles at the factory level.

“There are really fun things you can do going forward once more and more vehicles have this,” he said.

The founders see the technology taking over large fleets for utility companies and rental car agencies, bringing vehicles straight to you. You then jump in and drive off on your own.

“You as a user never have to park... Just drive yourself where you’re going and get out of the car, and someone else handles the parking for you.”

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