Summary: A weekly show discussing the future of transportation Alex Roy, Edward Niedermeyer, and Kirsten Korosec
With fully autonomous cars taking longer to develop than some had hoped, partial automation and driver assistance is coming back into focus and with it all the thorny problems of human machine interfaces. Carl Pickering, the former head of Autonomous Technology Strategy and Global HMI Manager at Jaguar Land Rover has a new startup called ADAM Cogtec that he thinks could provide a breakthrough in attention management. Using technology derived from techniques used to measure cognition levels in coma patients, ADAM is taking an entirely new approach that could change how the relationship between man and machine is managed.
There's a war quietly raging right now, over something you probably never guessed people would get worked up over: an open data standard that allows cities to manage shared mobility services. Launched by two-time Autonocast guest and LA DOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds, the Mobility Data Standard is tipping the balance of power away from well-funded startup invaders and towards city officials... and startups are fighting back. David Zipper of the German Marshall Fund, Citylab, The Atlantic and more has been covering this conflict better and for longer than anyone, and he joins the show to help Alex, Kirsten and Ed make sense of it.
The Autonocast's partnership with Siemens and the AutoSens conference rolls on from Detroit, with a conversation about how cities can prepare for autonomous vehicles. Joining the conversation are Ed Olsen of May Mobility, Marcus Welz of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems and Ed Bernardon of Siemens Strategic Automotive Initiatives, who combine their various areas of focus in a lively conversation about the promises and challenges of urban AVs. With May's autonomous shuttles and Siemens' smart city infrastructure systems already deployed in real cities, the lessons learned are already reshaping perspectives on this complex and evolving topic.
With Tesla getting into the custom silicon game, the gang dives into the wild world of processors for autonomous vehicles while attending the Auto-Sens conference in Detroit. Joining the show to help explain this complex field are two deeply knowledgeable guides: David Fritz, Global Technology Manager for Autonomous and ADAS at Siemens, and Jim McGregor of Tirias Research. Produced in partnership with Siemens, this episode demystifies the rise of custom silicon, the different strategies around autonomous vehicle compute, and the next generation of AV architectures
It's been another busy week in the world of mobility technology, so the gang has plenty to discuss in the latest episode. First up is Google's move into the automotive center stack with Android Automotive OS debuting on the Polestar 2, then comes Cruise's unexpected cash raising round and finally Waymo's partnership with Lyft in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Plus, Alex was in the New Yorker and Ed finally finished his book (like actually, for real).
As countless dead-end demos have proven, building the features and functionality of an autonomous drive system is far easier than creating a system that can reliably keep passengers safe in the chaos of a modern roadway. Dr Phillip Koopman of Edge Case Research spends his days looking at all of the potential safety challenges inherent to autonomous drive systems and is developing UL4600 as a framework through which AV developers can demonstrate the safety engineering and validation that their systems have gone through, as an AV-specific compliment to functional standards like ISO26262 and ISO21448 (SOTIF). On this week's show, Dr Koopman argues that some in the AV space still don't take safety seriously enough, explains how UL4600 can raise the safety bar for the entire sector, the unique challenges of the end-to-end deep learning approach and much more.
Tesla's "Autonomy Day" packed a lot of information into a few hours, but Kirsten, Alex and Ed all watched with interest and they have a few thoughts. The gang discusses Tesla's decision to develop a chip in-house, the demo video showing surprisingly little in the way of challenging domains and scenarios, the firm's vaunted "data advantage" and much more. All that, plus a brief discussion at the end about Rivian's deal with Ford. Don't miss this action-packed episode tackling the most controversial company in autonomous driving technology!
A recent paper by Lex Fridman and other MIT researchers looking at the "functional vigilance" of Autopilot users has attracted considerable controversy in recent weeks. The authors claim a finding that bucks all the existing research about human interactions with automation, suggesting that Autopilot users do not suffer from the complacency and distraction that typically comeswhen humans monitor partial automation. In this episode Alex, Kirsten and Ed dig into the study and discuss what they see as being some of its issues.
SXSW isn't typically on the circuit of mobility-related events, but this year we went to participate in our partnership with Wards Intelligence and C3 Group's Smart Mobility Summit. Doug Newcomb of C3/Wards joins the show to explain why the Austin confab is such a good place to discuss new mobility matters, followed by a conversation with San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo about leading one of Silicon Valley's major metropolitan areas into the autonomous era. Liccardo suggests that AVs are replacing decades-old investments in light rail, setting off a lively conversation about how cities should allocate scarce transit resources.
Another episode of backstage conversations from the Wards Intelligence Austin Smart Mobility Summit comes to you from Empire Garage in Austin, where we are discussing the steps needed to achieve the robotaxi dream we've all heard so much about. Joining the show are John Sousanis of Wards Intelligence, Finch Fulton of USDOT, Manuela Papadopol of Designated Driver, Dr Ipek Sener of Texas A&M's Transportation Institute and Ted Trepanier of INRIX. The Autonocast thanks Wards Intelligence and the C3 Group for partnering with The Autonocast to produce these conversations from their excellent event.
137: How Cities and Companies Collaborate On New Mobility
On March 18, 2018, one of Uber's autonomous test vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian named Elaine Herzberg as she crossed a street in Tempe, Arizona. In the year since the first fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle a lot has changed in the sector, both internally at developers and in public perceptions of the technology. Alex, Kirsten and Ed look back at the tragic event and tumultuous aftermath and discuss what went wrong and what we can learn from the incident.
The Autonocast took advantage of its on-stage panel at SXSW to discuss one of the few issues that has real life-and-death consequences: the consequences of language used to describe automated driving technology. Whether caused by sensationalism, ignorance or just laziness, language that oversells publicly-available driver assistance systems and conflates it with autonomy can actively contribute to dangerous uses that actually endanger peoples lives. Kirsten, Alex and Ed are joined by the "Godfather" of the Autonocast, Reilly Brennan of Trucks VC and the Future of Transportation Newsletter, as they deconstruct this insidious problem and start to look for solutions to it.
Brought to you in partnership with INRIX, this episode features a discussion from CES about the lessons Las Vegas has learned from its early AV deployments. Recorded live from The Wynn, the panel includes Brian Hoeft (Director-FAST, RTC Southern Nevada), Steve Vozar (CTO, May Mobility), Chris Barker (VP New Mobility, Communications and Partnerships at Keolis) and Avery Ash (Head of Autonomous Mobility at INRIX). Moderated by Team Autonocast, and followed by an audience Q&A, this episode brings real-life lessons for anyone looking at bringing autonomous vehicles to their city.
This week's episode casts a fearless glance at the scariest things in the autonomous drive technology space: trying to sell an AV developer company in the "trough of disillusionment," getting asked a tough question by one Kirsten Can't Hack, and (of course) Laser Bears! The gang teases out the many implications of Waymo's move into lidar sales, ponders who might buy Drive.ai, and high-fives Kirsten for asking Elon Musk a question he's been avoiding for too long. Plus, a reminder that the whole crew will be at SXSW starting on Saturday, and will be hosting a panel on automated driving terminology on Tuesday.