Test facilities for autonomous vehicle development are sprouting up around the world, but today we take a look inside one of the originals: MCity, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Greg McGuire is the lab director who oversees both the fake city that makes up the test facility and the fleet of vehicles that that performs research there. A veteran of Zipcar, Greg explains his obsession with new mobility technologies and how his team is facilitating multidisciplinary research into a wide variety of problems in order to serve a diverse group of partners.

On-demand mobility sounds great, until demand dramatically outstrips supply and you're left stranded or surge pricing kills the value proposition. Meanwhile, rental vehicle fleets are being squeezed by declining demand, utilization and margins. A couple of veterans of the ride hailing and rental businesses saw opportunity in these two challenges, and are building a platform called Autofleet to redirect underutilized vehicles into ridehailing or delivery services. CEO Kobi Eisenberg joined the show while we were in Tel Aviv to explain his vision for a platform that can spin fleets up and down the way Amazon Web Services spins virtual machines up and down.

With Kirsten off conquering the Namib Desert, and just generally being cooler than us while on vacation, we call on the services of our guest co-host former PolySync CEO and current roofing enthusiast Josh Hartung. Between the Tesla going-private craziness, a recent IIHS test of Level 2 driver assistance systems and the autonomous drive sector's sojourn in the trough of disillusionment there's a lot to talk about. It may not be as cool Kirsten's African adventure, but we do what we can.

As reality sets in for the autonomous drive technology space, the long-term goal of Level 5 and ubiquitous ridesharing is giving way to more limited, pragmatic deployment scenarios. One of the opportunities that is coming into focus in this shift is autonomous trucking and freight delivery. On today's episode, we speak with one of the first people to see the remarkable opportunities in this space: Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, CEO and founder of the autonomous trucking pioneer Starsky Robotics. 

One of the hardest problems in the automated driving stack involves predicting how multiple pedestrian targets will behave. That's the problem that Cambridge, MA-based startup Perceptive Automata is tackling head-on with a unique approach to deep learning that builds on research into human perception. Co-founder and CTO Sam Anthony joins the show to explain how he's teaching self-driving cars how to tap into he power of the human glance.

Anyone who spends some time around new mobility technology recognizes the cycle that all new trends go through: the ascent, the peak of hype, the disillusionment and steady adoption. The research and advisory firm Gartner has an annual report that plots every buzz-happy new technology on a "Hype Cycle" chart, and Gartner's Research Director (and former veteran auto reporter) Mike Ramsey joins the show to discuss the latest moves in mobility technology. From Mobility as a Service to flying autonomous vehicles, from electric cars to autonomous drive technology, find out where every new mobility tech segment (and one company) belong in the endless cycle of hype, disappointment and adoption.

With Alex fresh off an adventure in the Oregon Outback that resulted in a misdemeanor trespassing charge, the gang takes a moment to consider the challenges and opportunities of rural mapping, Level 5 autonomy and autonomous off-roading. We also discuss Tesla's latest Autopilot feature descriptions and hidden car stashes, as well as a tease of Niedermeyer's upcoming book on the electric automaker. Discussion episodes are back!

The 30 year-old Controller Area Network bus, better known as CAN, is often held up as a symbol of the auto industry's glacial pace of innovation. But, as Ken Tindell of Canis Automotive Labs explains, the electronic backbone of every modern car has persisted through decades of profound changes in electronics and networking for good reasons. What's more, Tindell has taught CAN a new trick that could maintain its viability for decades to come while securing it from the cybersecurity threats that were all but unimaginable when CAN was first invented.