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Perrone Robotics is showing that autonomous vehicles are ready for the road today. Paul Perrone, CEO of Perrone Robotics, talked with Auto Futures about the company’s successful self-driving demonstrations, and the future of Perrone Robotics.

During CES in Las Vegas, the company offered autonomous rides around a 556-foot track.

“We found CES 2022 extremely successful. It was a great opportunity for small and medium companies like ours, as we felt we received more attention,” says Perrone.

The companies that came were key buyers for Perrone Robotics technology for the US and European markets. Many of the larger companies spent time reviewing potential partner opportunities. He expects several of those key meetings will have contracts soon.

Riders at CES liked taking rides in self-driven Perrone Robotics vehicles.

The company had safety precautions and cleaning protocols in place the entire time.

In most cases, riders talked about AV vehicles providing more accessibility during the pandemic. They can be hailed through an app. They can operate 24/7. Then riders can ride during less congested times, says Perrone.

Perrone has great faith in the safety of the test vehicles. A live human walked in front of the self-driving van on the track.

“Many of the CES demonstration riders were surprised that as part of our demonstration, we had a Perrone employee step out in front of the vehicle to showcase stopping and monitoring abilities. It allowed us to showcase a real-world experience of pedestrians stepping into the road,” says Perrone.

Av Star 2

Guaranteeing Customer Satisfaction

The 14-16 passenger van demoed was GreenPower Motor Company’s electric AV Star. It is level-4 autonomous, ADA-compliant, FMVSS certified and Buy America.

When operated for people with disabilities, the worker onboard the AV Star acts like a concierge inside the vehicle doing tasks such as locking wheelchairs. Interior services have not been automated, says Perrone about the AV Star.

“My favourite part of CES was being able to demonstrate the power of our technology and watching the response from attendees, reporters, and partners. We are thrilled with the outcome of potential sales opportunities, as well,” says Perrone.

He says it is all about automated safety. The company has done hundreds of thousands of miles in thirty different types of vehicles up to mining vehicles. Perrone driverless products are vehicle agnostic and work with a wide range of applications.

“We are focused on the transportation of people or goods in a defined setting such as campuses, or logistics in an area of one to five miles,” says Perrone “We are also able to go up to 55 mph when it is safe to do so.”

“We need to be NASA grade safe, Apple simple and with Amazon level customer assurance, that results in customer satisfaction that outperforms everyone else,” says Perrone.

Currently, Perrone Robotics is retrofitting and installing the autonomous features in the GreenPower AVs. In the future, GreenPower will install AV hardware from the beginning. The vehicles also have software embedded and can work with V2V and V2X. However, all the autonomous hardware and software are onboard.

Tony Gemshuttle Building

“I never get tired of what I am doing because I have the passion for it.”

Self-driving products from Perrone Robotics are called TONY, short for ‘TO Navigate You’ vehicles and services.

Last fall, the company announced that Ouster OS sensors will be integrated into a configuration of TONY AV products.

“We are centred on the determination to provide safety. We make the determination on board,” says Perrone, “We focus on defined controlled spaces.”

Sometimes the company works as a mobility-as-service. They also offer different levels of supporting a vehicle through hardware/software kits and fully-outfitted vehicles.

In 2010, Perrone retrofitted a 1959 Lincoln Continental, called the LincVolt to electric and automated driving for rock star Neil Young. He is looking at more types of vehicles to outfit in the future. Currently, the company offers TONY- LSV (Low-Speed Vehicle), TONY Green Power AV Star and TONY retrofit kits.

“Now we are in the space where we can pivot to the market. We are dealing with Fortune 500 logistics companies, yard trucks and semi-trucks, twenty OEMs and other companies,” says Perrone.

Perrone founded the company in 2003 and still enjoys the challenges of the business.

“I never get tired of what I am doing because I have the passion for it. You never get tired of what you do if you have a passion for what you do in life,” says Perrone.

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