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For years there have been complaints about misuse of a statistic showing that humans error is the last link in an often-complex causal chain in fatal crashes. Those complaints have risen to a crescendo in recent weeks, as more prominent voices have risen to denounce the number as a distraction from solutions beyond automation. On this week's episod…
 
Tesla's confrontation with US auto safety regulators continues to ratchet up, as the automaker pulled a stealth OTA recall of an Autopilot issue that was under active NHTSA investigation. Meanwhile, the respected and outspoken critic of Autopilot safety (among many other topics) Missy Cummings was announced as special safety advisor to NHTSA, promp…
 
The gang is getting back out from behind their computer screens, bringing back tales of test drives and conferences for the latest discussion episode. Kirsten has been the busiest of the bunch, as her first drives of the hot new EVs from RIvian and Lucid (and a factory tour of the latter startup) prompt discussion of their execution and manufacturi…
 
When the recently-confirmed NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy tweeted about listening to The Autonocast, the gang had to reach out and ask if she would be willing to make time for her own appearance on the show. Having responded in the affirmative, Chair Homendy has now become the first sitting auto safety official to appear on The Autonocast. From NTSB'…
 
Cars and mobility might not be the first thing you think about when you hear the name Qualcomm, but like other high tech titans the chip maker is betting big on the automotive market. Nakul Duggal is Qualcomm's Senior Vice President and General Manager of Automotive, and he joins the show to discuss his strategy to put the firm's technology at the …
 
In only its second year of existence, Autonowashing continues to make inroads on the public consciousness in part due to the work of people like Mahmood Hikmet. The Kiwi AV engineer made an incredible Youtube video breaking down the complex issues around partial automation and autonowashing like nobody had before, and he joins the show to discuss h…
 
Mobility-focused venture capitalist Olaf Sakkers has been a friend of the show for a long time, which is the only reason Kirsten, Alex and Ed agreed to read something called "The Mobility Disruption Framework." We're glad we did though, because Sakkers is far from the kind of empty-headed, buzzword-spouting consultant who has given "mobility disrup…
 
If the last decade or so of mobility technology tells us anything, it's that putting a camera on a vehicle unlocks a whole world of new opportunities. Our guest this week, Drover AI co-founder and Chief Business Officer Alex Nesic, did precisely that with on-demand scooters and he joins the show to explain the new possibilities his company has unle…
 
Big moves raise strategic questions this week, as Mobileye starts testing in New York, Aurora heads to Wall Street by way of Reid Hoffman's SPAC, and a Financial Times trend piece raises questions about the relationship of ADAS to AV strategy. From the traffic impact of privately-owned AVs to the public's ability to invest in the technology and the…
 
With Kirsten out exploring the western wilds, Alex and Ed run amok and revert to their old habits of spending way too much time discussing Tesla. First up, the lads review the latest NHTSA order to report all ADAS and AV-involved crashes, which doesn't mention Tesla specifically but is clearly very much aimed at that company. Further discussion ens…
 
Everyone has a strategy for the electric, autonomous mobility era, and the gang regularly discusses private sector strategies, but what about nation state competition for the future of transportation? Alex, Kirsten and Ed are joined by Nathan Picarsic of Horizon Advisory to dissect the evolution of China's industrial strategy, from traditional auto…
 
The gang discusses a couple of Kirsten's recent scoops that speak to the complex business challenges the autonomous vehicle space is currently negotiating. From Raquel Urtasun's new startup to Aurora (and others) plans to go public, the big players are making some very high-stakes bets about how the sector will shake out. Plus: Tesla loses a top ex…
 
Transit advocates have made autonomous vehicles something of a boogeyman lately, framing the emerging technology as a way to perpetuate the car's mobility monopoly and starve public transit of funding. In reality, transit is one of the most compelling applications and automation is a huge opportunity to dramatically improve public transit. To help …
 
Joel Ricks Johnson (aka JJRicks) had already gained a sizable audience for his regular videos of Waymo rides when he took a ride that would capture the public's attention. Joel joins the show to walk the gang through that memorable ride, what went wrong, and how it compares to the more than 1,000 miles of Waymo rides he has experienced so far. If y…
 
Even as more misuse of driver assistance systems, and the subsequent crashes and deaths are reported we still see Autonowashing popping up everywhere. From Tesla to TikTok, and from Elon Musk to the mainstream media, people continue to ignore the tragic cost of overstating the capabilities of automated assistance systems. This week the gang discuss…
 
The internet is in an uproar about the latest fatal Tesla crash, in which two men were found burned alive with nobody in the driver's seat. Though the investigation has only just begun, the evidence available suggests a troubling new twist on past Autopilot crashes. As the gang sorts through the available facts, they attempt to answer the bizarre q…
 
The gang has discussed driver monitoring on many past shows, but like much of the mobility tech media we don't always give this topic the attention it deserves. That changes this week, as Ed and Alex welcome Colin Barnden of Semicast Research to the show and grill him with questions about the technology that keeps drivers in the loop. Whether you'r…
 
Tesla's "Full Self-Driving Beta" is in the news again, as correspondence between the automaker and the California DMV stating that the current "Full Self-Driving Beta" is Level 2 driver assistance and always will be. Alex, Ed and yes, even Kirsten, break down what it means and where it leaves Tesla, before discussing Luminar's plan to bring lidar t…
 
Lidar and autonomous vehicles have gone hand-in-hand since the DARPA Grand Challenges, propelling the self-driving stack into the modern era. But turning a new kind of sensor into an automotive-grade qualified component that can hold up to real-world road conditions and be made at scale is an entirely different challenge than inventing something ne…
 
We've been so busy with big guests so far in 2021 that we've barely had time to sit down and discuss the news of the day in a trademark Autonocast discussion episode. We're making up for that with our latest episode, which is even more stream-of-consciousness than usual. From Super Bowl ads to driver monitoring, from disengagement reports to the Ap…
 
Don Burnette has followed a familiar path into autonomous vehicles, as an early member of Google's self-driving car program and the Otto trucking startup that formed the core of Uber's early foray into the technology. Now, as the founder of the autonomous trucking startup Kodiak he's up against some of the biggest names in the business as competiti…
 
Every year at CES, the Autonocats invite hundreds of their closest friends in the AV and mobility tech world to a party of epic proportions. Since a party wasn't in the cards this year (thanks for everything, COVID!) we went for the next best thing: a live recording session for our annual predictions episode. If you missed it, don't worry: here, wi…
 
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…
 
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