Did you enjoy The Hunger Games books? Swap out hunger for self-driving and you get Autonomous, a YA novel by Andy Marino that gets it all wrong, from cliched plot devices to technical errors rivaling Business Insider’s worst clickbait. Prepare for laughs as the The Autonocast’s cast of sector experts read passages from this insult to fiction and the future.

President Donald Trump has finally nominated someone to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a position that has sat vacant for 15 months. Ed, Alex, and Kirsten take a look Heidi King's experience and weigh whether she has the proper street cred for the job. 

The Autonocast crew pauses to enjoy a little Twitter theater featuring Nikola Motor and Tesla, before delving into the latest efforts by automakers to make a buck in the so-called mobility industry. 

As autonomous drive technology moves closer to maturity, the emphasis is shifting from private mobility toward the movement of goods and services. Xiaodi Hou and Chuck Price of the autonomous trucking startup TuSimple joins The Autonocast to help us understand this evolution. Operating out of both China and the US, TuSimple is developing autonomous trucks with long-range camera-radar sensor suite that they hope will someday dramatically cut the cost of logistics fleet operations.  

Hot on the heels of the recent Uber autonomous test car crash in Tempe, Arizona, we have yet another fatality tied to an automated driving system. The latest incident took place in Mountain View, California, where a Tesla Model X slammed into a freeway divider barrier while Autopilot was active. This makes the third such Autopilot-involved fatality on record, and Alex, Kirsten and Ed discuss the disturbing similarities between them, the problems with Tesla's approach to semi-autonomy and what the company could do to prevent further tragedy. 

Driver monitoring has been an important topic here at the Autonocast for some time, and co-host Alex Roy has penned several powerful pieces elsewhere in favor of the technology. But it's easy to think of driver monitoring in overly-simplistic terms: observing and maintaining a safe level of driver awareness is about far more than simply tracking when eyes are on the road and when they are not. This week we are joined by Abdelrahman Mahmoud to help us understand a more holistic approach to driver monitoring and how the company he works for, Affectiva, is going about creating just that.

Some big news surprised the world of autonomous vehicles this week, as Waymo and Jaguar announced plans to test and deploy autonomous versions of the Jaguar iPace. Alex, Kirsten and Ed discuss the ins and outs of the deal and its strategic significance, before turning back to the Uber crash that continues to hang over the sector. John Mullen of the simulation company RightHook returns to the podcast to discuss the comments that several of Uber's competitors have made in the wake of the crash, and provides a simulation expert's perspective on the crash itself.

Things have been moving fast since we learned that an Uber autonomous drive test vehicle was involved in a fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona earlier this week. In our last discussion episode we urged restraint when discussing the incident itself, but with the release of video of the crash a terrifying scenario is coming into focus. Not only does it appear that Uber's autonomous drive system failed in fundamental ways, but so to did the safety driver who was supposed to be the last line of defense against "edge cases." In order to keep up with this rapidly-developing story, Alex, Kirsten and Ed got together to discuss what the video appears to show, what it means, and where Uber and the entire autonomous drive space needs to go from here. 

One important topic that The Autonocast has so far yet to discuss: how are autonomous vehicles shaping the world of car design? To help us delve into this fascinating issue, Alex, Kirsten and Ed are joined by former BMW design chief and current head of Chris Bangle Associates, the one and only Chris Bangle. Find out how architecture is impacting autonomous car design, what features autonomous vehicles will need to realize their potential, and how design has taken on anti-humanistic elements that need to be addressed in this new era.