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Zoox's 2020 journey embodied the recent highs and lows of the AV space, entering the year under a cloud and hunting for cash but ending the year revealing an amazing AV under the protection of Amazon's ownership. We were joined by both Zoox's CEO Aicha Evans and CTO Jesse Levinson for a full hour discussion, looking back at Zoox's wild ride, reflec…
 
2020 saw the launch of the Aptiv-Hyundai joint venture Motional, and the announcement of its plans to start a driverless service in Las Vegas. To discuss these happenings and more, we are joined by one of the most thoughtful CTOs in the space: Motional's Laura Major. The author of "What To Expect When You're Expecting Robots," and the only female C…
 
First up in our series of new year conversations with select leaders in the AV space, Austin Russell of the lidar company Luminar. In a year full of challenges, Luminar cemented its status as a major player by securing production contracts for its advanced sensors, went public using a SPAC reverse merger, and inked a major deal with Intel. Alex, Ki…
 
2020 is closing out with one of the biggest AV business stories of the year, first broken by our very own Kirsten Korosec: Aurora is buying Uber's ATG operations, ending the ride-hailing giant's tragic development effort. The gang discusses what this consolidation means for the sector, and looks back at some of the biggest AV-related trends of 2020…
 
David Zipper set out to understand what areas of automated driving were most in need of regulation under the new Biden administration, and his research led him to a single answer: Tesla. Zipper joins the show to discuss why Tesla's approach to automated driving is so aberrant, why it should be regulated and how the Bident could rein it in. If you w…
 
It's rare for Alex, Kirsten and Ed to agree on anything, but they're unanimous on one point: Anthony Townsend's Ghost Road: Beyond the Driverless Car was the best AV book of 2020. This week Townsend joins the show to discuss his book, which looks at how urban, economic and political development could be transformed by autonomous drive technology. I…
 
At a time when the auto industry is seeing an influx of new startups like it hasn't seen in a century, one of the most interesting companies to watch is Magna International. Not only does Magna supply everything from an in-house EV platform and ADAS to body-in-white and drivetrains, they also provide the engineering and validation expertise to turn…
 
Tesla's deployment of a "limited beta" version of its "Full Self-Driving" software to public roads raises a number of important issues around how and why AV developers test safely on public roads. With Kirsten just getting back from vacation, Alex and Ed walk her through the most immediate concerns... plus, Alex shares what it's like to be trained …
 
With competition in autonomous trucking heating up we speak with two of the top leaders at Ike, a startup that brings a unique development approach to this exciting space. Co-founder and Chief Engineer Nancy Sun and Head of Systems Randol Aikin oversee Ike's work transforming core technology licensed from Nuro into an autonomous trucking solution, …
 
Recently Ed had been noticing some negativity about AVs in tweets by friend of the show and brilliant technology analyst Horace Dediu. He challenged Horace to debate the prospects for autonomous drive technology, and what resulted was a fascinating conversation that proves there is more consensus about AVs than it sometimes seems. Though the result…
 
The gang struggles to make sense of Tesla's sprawling "Battery Day" presentation, which they contrast to Geely's very different strategy for EV dominance through a shared flexible architecture. We also look at Mobileye's new camera-only Level 2+ ADAS and discuss a couple of recent news items involving the autonomous trucking company TuSimple, makin…
 
The gang is back with another discussion episode covering a diverse range of topics, from the new Mercedes S Class and Polestar 2 and the struggle to create good modern user interfaces, to the GM-Honda Alliance and another look at the SPACmania that is inflating EV startup valuations while looking past AVs almost entirely.…
 
Mapping continues to be one of the more misunderstood aspects of AV development, so to help clear up the confusion we spoke with one of the godfathers of modern mapping tech. Mark Wheeler is the co-founder and CTO of DeepMap, a company that's been working on onboard HD mapping for AVs since 2016. He explains why mapping matters, how DeepMap builds …
 
Lyft is one of the few mobility platforms where you can hail a ride in an autonomous vehicle, at least in Las Vegas and Chandler, Arizona where it partners with Aptiv and Waymo respectively. But Lyft is also developing its own autonomous driving technology, at its Level 5 organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lyft's Jody Kelman joins the show…
 
Every once in a while, someone coins a word that takes a huge and complex concept and makes it comprehensible to the general public. That's exactly what Liza Dixon did one day, when she responded to one of Alex Roy's tweets with a brand-new neologism: Autonowashing. We caught up with the doctoral candidate, human-automation interaction expert and a…
 
The gang has a lot of news to discuss this week, with an NVIDIA-Mercedes partnership, BMW and Daimler's "conscious uncoupling," Apple Maps' mobility features, and Lyft's recent moves in mapping and electrification. Still, in spite of all this meaty news, Alex only wants to discuss one thing: blenders. Welcome, friends, to the Blendercast.…
 
The gang spends this week's discussion talking about fiction, specifically the new Amazon Prime show "Upload." This is a bit of a change of pace, as The Autonocast has always tried to keep its discussions firmly rooted in the real-world, but there's a good reason for this switch-up. For one thing, it's just plain fun at a time when we could all use…
 
With everything going on right now, mobility can seem like a frivolous thing to be focused on but as the gang discusses in today's episode it's actually more important than ever. New technology allows us to build new ways of getting around, and to ensure that these new systems serve everyone it's critical that we understand how our past systems fai…
 
We've talked a lot about the importance of picking the right domain in early applications of autonomous drive technology, but one rarely gets discussed: the parking lot. Anuja Sonalker is taking on that challenge at her company STEER, which is developing autonomous parking functionality for both the direct-to-consumer retrofit and OEM option market…
 
With the timelines for fully autonomous vehicle deployments stretching out, much of the automated driving technology space is pivoting toward the booming advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) market. To help us understand what's driving that market and how it's developing, we are joined by Aine Denari, the SVP of ADAS at the giant Tier One suppl…
 
With conferences being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Autonocast is proud to host important discussions that were planned for IRL events. On today's episode: Women In Autonomy presents a discussion of AI bias in autonomous vehicle development, featuring Aptiv's Nandita Mangal, Aeye's Indu Vijayan, and NVIDIA's Neda Cvijetic and moderate…
 
With its robotaxis already on the road in Arizona, Waymo has been quietly moving toward the autonomous trucking space for some time. To find out more of why the original AV developer is looking at the opportunities in logistics, we spoke with Head of Trucking Boris Sofman. In today's episode, Boris explains how Waymo's two main programs relate to e…
 
Will autonomous vehicles save us from COVID-19? You may have seen some stories that seem to imply that they will, but which fall apart if you poke at them a little. Kirsten, Damon and Ed figure that this is just another part of the broader problems with autonomous drive technology PR, and that how we think and talk about self-driving vehicles need …
 
On this week's Autonocast discussion episode: Alex denies responsibility for the crash of a tuned supercar in Manhattan, Kirsten reports on mobility tech company layoffs, Ed wonders how many cities are taking this opportunity to reboot their relationships with mobility providers, and Damon maintains his unflappably bemused demeanor.…
 
COVID-19 continues to take its toll, as the gang is a little extra quarantine-drunk in this discussion episode. Alex, Kirsten, Damon and Ed jump around between topics as diverse as: Cannonball Runs in the time of COVID, self-disinfecting bikes, the anti-touchscreens-in-cars backlash, cringey Model Y "off-roading" videos, and the emissions standard …
 
With so much pessimism in the world of autonomous drive technology, we thought we'd highlight a company that has built a solid, customer-focused business around automated vehicles. Nancy Post is the Director of John Deere's Intelligent Solutions Group, and has been working on the agricultural machinery giant's automation systems for decades. She ex…
 
The collapse of Starsky Robotics has been the subject of rumor and speculation in the autonomous drive technology world for months, but now founder Stefan Seltz-Axmacher is ready to set the record straight. He joins The Autonocast to discuss his recent blog post on The Fall of Starsky, the lessons learned from his time running a startup, where the …
 
Founding Autonocast co-host Damon Lavrinc is back from a stint working at a variety of mobility companies, and he's come at a time when there is so much to think about and discuss. On this classic wide-ranging discussion episode, the gang considers the seismic shocks running through the mobility tech world, which companies are surprisingly well-pos…
 
Every year, the Navigant Research Autonomous Leaderboard report ranks the various players in the autonomous mobility space and every year it prompts much wailing and gnashing of teeth from fans of companies who trail in the rankings. To help explain the factors that go into these rankings and the methodologies used measure them, we are joined by th…
 
With COVID-19 bringing any sense of normalcy to an abrupt end, the gang pauses their recent parade of high-profile guests in favor of an old-fashioned discussion episode. Between some of the big recent headlines in mobility and the still-evolving impact of certain novel viruses, there's a lot to discuss in this week's wide-ranging conversation. Ed …
 
For much of the last few years, autonomous robotaxis were simply presumed to be a technological problem whose economics would be easily competitive. Now, with human-driven ridehailing still struggling to turn a profit, more and more companies are realizing that the robotaxi business won't necessarily be an easy one. Perhaps the best view of the rob…
 
Joshua Schachter is well-known in the mobility tech world as a savvy angel and venture capitalist, but not everyone knows that he (more specifically, his "Self-Racing Cars" event) played a major role in making The Autonocast happen. On today's episode, we discuss the mobility tech investing environment, how Joshua analyzes potential investments and…
 
Fresh off the heels of tumultuous hype cycles in both shared electric scooters and autonomous vehicles, the idea of "riderless scooters" can seem like the immaculate hypeball. But, as today's episode shows, the ability to move shared scooters remotely is actually a meaningful potential solution to the operational challenges facing shared scooter co…
 
David Estrada has been on the cutting edge of new mobility tech regulation for years, handling legal and government affairs duties at companies like the Google Chauffeur project, Lyft, Bird and now the autonomous delivery company Nuro. Estrada joins the show this week to discuss his history in the space, where autonomous drive regulation is headed …
 
During a recent trip to the Bay Area, Ed got a ride in a Zoox development vehicle and came away surprisingly impressed with its autonomous driving capabilities in a tough domain. Immediately following the ride he recorded a conversation with Zoox CTO Jesse Levinson about the challenges of developing an AV in San Francisco, the technology that enabl…
 
If you know anything about autonomous drive technology, you probably know the name Chris Urmson. From Carnegie Mellon's DARPA Grand and Urban Challenge teams to head of Google's Chauffeur program (now Waymo) and now as co-founder and CEO of Aurora, Urmson has been in the thick of AV development since its earliest days. He joins The Autonocast for t…
 
Cruise's mysterious "Beyond The Car" event turns out to have been the reveal of its first dedicated robotaxi, the Origin. Both Ed and Kirsten were on hand for the reveal, and share their impressions and analysis of the first production-intent autonomous mobility device by a major Level 4 AV developer. Alex provides the critical perspective (disclos…
 
As Aptiv's President of Autonomous Mobility, Karl Iagnemma now finds himself at the head of a massive $4 billion joint venture with Hyundai Motor Company. The former NuTonomy founder is one of the quiet heroes of self-driving, having spearheaded the first AV deployment in Singapore and led Aptiv into an industry-leading position. Joining the show f…
 
With a new year upon us, Alex, Kirsten and Ed pull out their crystal balls and try to predict what might play out during 2020. From the continued rise of ADAS and commercial applications of autonomous drive technology to potential acquisitions, a deployment "land grab" and yes, the "million robotaxis" thing, the gang maps out what they see coming i…
 
With another year coming to a close, Alex, Kirsten and Ed look back at some of their big takeaways from 2019. Technical progress has continued, as Ed's driverless Waymo ride proved, but new technologies alone don't create viable business models or solve product-market fit. ADAS also made a comeback over the last year, with lots of OEMs announcing n…
 
What do Ed's recent driverless Waymo ride, simulation, trust and the NTSB's investigation into a fatal Uber crash have in common? More than you might think. Alex, Kirsten and Ed weave these and other issues together in the latest discussion episode of The Autonocast. If you enjoy conversations like this one, please take a moment to fill out The Aut…
 
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