What is it like running a "full stack" autonomous drive company? What's it like coordinating an AD play with a major automaker? How does an AD company CEO think about "winning the race to autonomy"? On this episode of the Autonocast, the crew is joined by Bryan Salesky of Argo AI, who explains how he got into the space via the DARPA Urban Challenge, and how he and his partners at Ford are moving toward the autonomous future.

With so much focus on companies building the AI "brain" for autonomous drive, we check in with a company that is building a more overlooked (but just as important) aspect of the Autonomobile stack: the nervous system. Chris Heiser and Jason Stinson of Renovo join The Autonocast to talk about what they call "the Autonet," a platform that ties together everything a robotaxi might need to operate, from AI and teleoperation to infotainment and payments and beyond.  

Luminar is one of several exciting new startups shaking up the lidar sensor space, and its founder and CEO Austin Russel joins the show from the headquarters of the Human Driving Association in New York City. Russel explains what sets Luminar's sensors apart from the herd, what lidar needs to be capable of, how lidar sensors can interfere with each other and why Luminar needs to manufacture its own products. Plus, Alex attempts to get him off onto a tangent about laser jamming for speeding purposes. 

Co-host Alex Roy has a new piece out at The Drive, in which he proposes a replacement to the infamous SAE "automation level" system. In this episode the gang discusses his new proposal and some of the feedback it has inspired, which includes some insight into recent debates within the SAE. Also discussed in this week's episode: a UBS study suggesting that Waymo could snag 60% of the autonomous vehicle market, Uber's flying car plans and whether or not autonomous vehicle companies should compete on safety.

With a full plate of news from the autonomous drive sector, the gang digs into Drive.AI's new pilot program, new reporting on Uber's Arizona crash and Bloomberg's ranking of the biggest players in the space. The ranking story prompts a digression into what the "win state" for the much-touted "race to autonomy" even looks like, and whether or not the goal of replacing privately-owned gas cars as "Level 5 mobility devices" even makes sense. Maybe the secret to success is not pursuing a hardware-software stack capable of navigating any and all circumstances, but finding the best locations and business models for commercializing limited autonomous mobility.

As the concept of mobility expands beyond the car and into an explosion of new options, a much bigger question arises: what happens to the built environment that was constructed around cars? To help us explore this question Kirsten and Alex are joined by Andrew Cohen, co-CEO of Gensler, one of the biggest architect firms in the world. From gas stations to parking structures to the very makeup of streets themselves, the new world of mobility opens up huge opportunities to remake the cities of tomorrow.

The big news this week is that Ford is joining Fiat Chrysler in discontinuing its car lineup in order to focus on trucks and SUVs. In order to understand the historical context for this major transition and what it means for the future of the industry, Alex and Ed are joined by a a second Niedermeyer! Paul Niedermeyer, founder and editor of Curbsideclassic.com and Ed's dad is our very special guest for this look at the auto industry in transition.

The Autonocast takes a time-out from mobility technology this week in order to take a look at how computer vision and machine learning are impacting auto manufacturing. Patrick Sobalvarro and Clara Vu, two of the co-founders of Veo Robotics, join the show to explain how they are making robots smarter and car factories safer. They also explain why their technology won't be replacing humans any time soon.

With Ed just back from two weeks of vacation, it was inevitable that he'd make Alex and Kirsten discuss all the latest news from Teslaland. With the NTSB investigation heating up, the gang takes a look at the some of the more popular defenses of the system and find that they still can't escape the very ambiguity about its capabilities that they seek to dispel. Plus, Mike Granoff of Maniv Mobility stops by to tell us about the Mobility Week he's helping put on in Tel Aviv next month, and which will be featured in future episodes of the show.