Mapless AI will test remote control cars at Pittsburgh International Airport


AI without mapa mobility technology company headquartered in Boston and Pittsburgh, is gearing up to begin testing its remote-controlled cars in Pittsburgh International Airport thanks to a partnership with the airport xBridge innovation center.

xBridge Director Cole Wolfson said in a company statement about the news that as a Pittsburgher, he is thrilled the center is playing a role in developing technology that could have such a significant impact on the city and its industry autonomous vehicles.

“Mapless AI’s technology and service can have an immense impact on a number of fleet and mobility industries, and we’re excited to explore how it can improve the airport experience,” Wolfson said.

Representatives of the organization did not respond to’s requests for comment on when testing should begin or the number of employees based in Pittsburgh.

Jeffrey Kane Johnson, the local co-founder of Mapless AI, said in a statement that technology developed by the company can turn any vehicle into a remote-controlled means of transportation. With Mapless, there would be a new layer to what the company calls car call: similar to Lyft and Uber, users were summoning cars with an app. Yet the cars would be driven by operators based in downtown Pittsburgh who would be remotely connected to the vehicles via commercial cellular networks.

Why, exactly?

“Just imagine if vehicles managed parking on their own, where they all went to a designated spot when you didn’t need them and came back when you did,” Johnson said. “No more streets littered with cars, no more random parking lots cluttering up space, and no more having to remember where you parked.”

Mapless AI said its technology is designed to keep the vehicle safe even if the connection to the remote operator is lost. In this case, according to the announcement, the vehicle will slow to a complete stop and wait to reconnect or be picked up by a manual driver.

While there are still a few worry of the public on the safety of autonomous vehicles, Johnson and co-founder Philip Robbel insist that in the development of this technology, they prioritize safety. Both Robbel and Johnson are experts in autonomous vehicle safety engineering, and prior to founding Mapless AI, they spent time leading teams at entities such as Apple, Bosch and Uber.

“Safety is at the heart of our mission and our innovation,” said Robbel. “Every Mapless vehicle we deploy will have enough intelligence on board to ensure total security in response to changing network conditions.”

The previous safety driver requirement for AV testing has been removed in the Commonwealth, thanks to recently adopted legislation. Also according to the press release, a person will be present in the vehicles while the tests take place.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by Heinz endowments. -30-

About Author

Comments are closed.