As the dangers and downsides of real-world testing of experimental autonomous drives systems become better understood, companies are turning to simulation to improve the speed and safety of their testing regimes. Helping them with this effort is Cognata, an Israeli company specializing in simulation for autonomous vehicle testing. Alex, Kirsten and Ed are joined in Tel Aviv by Cognata's founder and CEO Danny Atsmon and VP of Sales, Alon Podhurst, to explore and explain the virtual worlds their simulation technology creates.

Alex's mission to talk to everyone with a background in aviation and human-machine interfaces, Dr Missy Cummings joins the show to talk automation, safety and Tesla Autopilot. One of the first women fighter pilots, a former MIT Associate Professor and current Professor at Duke University's schools of Engineering and Brain Sciences, as well as the director of Duke's Humans and Autonomy Laboratory. Her thoughtful criticisms of "semi-autonomous" technology are informed by decades of academic research and deep experience with aviation automation, and they make for a memorable episode of The Autonocast.

As the major autonomous drive stack players focus on geofenced driverless (Level 4) deployments of their technology, it's become clear that a control option will be necessary for situations in which the AI breaks down or can't handle certain obstacles. The search for technology that can plug these holes has led to the rise of Phantom Auto, whose Israeli defense-sector technology allows for remote teleoperation over cellular networks. Phantom Auto's Elliot Katz and Jordan Sanders join the Autonocast to explain how their technology enables truly driverless deployments and who they are partnering with.

You-You Xue took early delivery of a Model 3, and rather than sit around the house for Winter break he decided to drive across the country and share his excitement for his new car. After touring the United States, giving hundreds of test drives to fellow fans and becoming an online sensation, he decided to take his Tesla Road Trip to Europe. But when his car crashed due to what he calls an Autopilot malfunction, suddenly his relationship with the driver assist system, Tesla and its fans became a lot more complicated. On this episode of the Autonocast, You-You explains what happened, how he got there, and what he hopes people learn from the situation.

Maniv Mobility is one of the top mobility-focused investment funds in the world, especially when it comes to identifying the best Israel-based mobility technology startups. On today's episode of The Autonocast, we are joined by Maniv partner Olaf Sakkers who jokes around a bit with Alex, Kirsten and Ed before getting into his perspective on the rapidly-evolving mobility technology landscape. 

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.