Self Driving Cars Just Got a Little More Real Thanks To Wejo’s Internet of Cars and Autonomous Vehicle Operating System

Wejo Av Os Featured Photo

This is genius. (And also, there were Lamborghinis.)

Just imagine. A hurricane is in the forecast and you are on alert to shelter in place or be evacuated. It’s a potential nightmare, but does it have to be? Connected self driving cars are certainly a part of the answer. Just imagine….

Old world: You head out to the gas station, wait in line to fill up; go to Costco, wait in line to fill your cart; a few hours later, you’re told to evacuate. You head to the highway and there, you guessed it… get in line for the long slow crawl to safety. 

Future world: You get the evacuation warning and so does your car, which is plugged in to the charger in your garage. The car’s app moves up the charging time and charge speed so it’s fully charged if and when the evacuation order is given. In your other car, you are informed to head to the Costco inland rather than the one on the highway because its not as busy. 

And then, you get the evacuation order. Your car tells you the optimal time to evacuate and the best, least busy route. The other cars on the road also received optimal times to evacuate based on weather, location, traffic and distances people are planning to travel. Like a well oiled, machine, you head out, merge onto the highway and join the flow of traffic. 

Oh, and the car does the driving. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as you’re whisked out of the danger zone. 

Related: Does Tesla’s Autopilot Failure Make You Afraid to Try a Self Driving Car?

Richard Barlow Of Wejo Explaining The Av Os Technology

Richard Barlow of Wejo explaining the AV OS technology that will help self driving cars become a reality. Photo: Wejo

The Internet of … Cars?  

That’s essentially how Wejo, a company that is missioned with connecting cars and their data together, is creating a huge mobile “grid” that knows instantly everything that’s going on as it’s happening, even the obstacles that are not connected to the grid. 

Such as, detecting construction zones that moved the cones overnight. Or wide-load boats being slowly trucked along highway. The highway patrol officer flagging traffic into new traffic patterns. It can even account for cars that are’t equipped with modern same systems as newer cars on the road. 

These problems and their solutions are the foundation of a new transportation connectivity system built by Wejo: it allows cars to interpret everything around them and then share that data in real time. Wejo’s mission is to solve the connectivity challenges facing traffic and transportation, and build the future of getting around.

Since it was founded, Wejo has analyzed 85 billion journeys of 19 million cars and crunched 16 trillion bits of data. 

Related: Are You On Board With Self-Driving Cars? Take the MIT Survey

My Laps Around The Track, Intereprered In Data. Photo Scotty Reiss

My laps around the track, intereprered in data. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Here’s How It Works 

Wejo collaborates with pretty much every auto maker to cull all the data that cars collect from all the various computers and systems (that’s several dozen computers in the average car). Each car produces about 20 gigabytes of data for every few hours of driving. Compare that to the average 10 gigs of data that the typical cell phone uses in a month. That’s a lot of data crunching.

Wejo takes that data, standardizes it for consistency, removes personal or proprietary data, combines it and creates specific reports. And it does all this in real time. 

Wejo also works with cities and states as well as auto companies to help everyone understand issues and opportunities in real time. Like seeing a stranded truck on the highway before anyone calls 911 or better, preventing safety and traffic issues before they happen.

Related: Hyundai Shows Off Potential of Self-Driving Cars in Heart-Tugging Video

The Dliveree Autonmous Driving Test Van

The Dliveree autonomous driving test van. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Operating System of Autonomous Vehicles 

Will we ever really have self driving cars? It’s a question everyone likes to debate. The technology exists, but the lack of guardrails and safety nets  means it’s not ready for the the road just yet. Even deciding what those guardrails and safety nets are is a hot topic.

But it’s one that Wejo is ready to address with its new tech product called AV OS, or autonomous vehicle operating system.

Essentially, companies developing self driving vehicles can partner with Wejo to test out virtually any scenario, circumstance or condition to quickly advance the operations of their autonomous vehicles. To show how the system works, the company even built a prototype self-driving van called Dliveree that can navigate pretty much any road using Wejo’s technology. 

Sarah Larner, Svp Of Stratety, Wejo

Sarah Larner, SVP of stratety, Wejo. Photo: Wejo

How Does it Work?

We got a test drive of Wejo’s Smart Mobility system by taking a fleet of cars—super cars, actually, including a Lamborghini Huracan that I drove— to a track outside Las Vegas to see how driving data is reported.

After taking the cars around the track I was able to see my drive line on the track and my braking and acceleration, reported to Wejo’s systems in real time. Then, I was able to see where I could improve my track performance and try to shave a bit of my lap time. And I did! 

We were paired with a pro driver who coached us through each curve and straightaway and in four short laps (every lap around a track is too short, in my opinion) we were able to also compare our driving to our pro’s and other drivers. Wejo had a bit of fun with this, giving us awards for our performance.

So I was really surprised when my name was called for the award winner of Best Overall Driving. I was shocked. And flattered. Because this was not a subjective, opinion driven or voted-upon award; it was base on data. If you want to prove something, let the data do it for you. 

The Fancy Sports Cars We Used To Test Out Wejo Data

The fancy sports cars we used to test out Wejo data. Photo: Wejo

Using Genius For Good

During our test drive I got the chance to chat with Richard Barlow, tech entrepreneur and founder of Wejo. How did you name the company I asked? “It’s short for We Journey,” he said. The idea is that we are all out on the road together, journeying together, and if we can all connect, if our cars and itineraries and preferences and intentions can connect, we can better understand each other. And make way for each other. 

The company’s slogan is “smart mobility for good” and that’s the mission, too: To reduce congestion, injuries and emissions by connecting all the data our cars produce so they can better understand each other. The internet of cars… and now, the operating system of self driving cars. That’s genius. 

Disclosure: I was Wejo’s guest for this test drive and event. All opinions and driving mastery are my own.

The Lamborghini Huracan I Drove

The Lamborghini Huracan I drove. See how the background is blurred? I’d like to think that’s me and my speed! Photo: Wejo

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss