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.

The Autonocast partnered up with Wards Intelligence and C3 Group to participate in their Austin Smart Mobility Summit at SXSW, where we spoke with some of the speakers and panel members. Up first in our series of episodes from that event is a conversation about how private companies and cities are learning to work together to create new mobility options, the topic of a panel at the event moderated by our own Kirsten Korosec. Joining the discussion are: Ben Bear, Chief Business Officer of Spin; Carlos Cruz-Casas, Assistant Director, Department of Transportation and Public Works at Miami-Dade County; and Brett Wheatley, Vice President of Mobility Marketing & Growth at Ford Motor Company.

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, 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.

It's been a long time since Alex, Kirsten and Ed sat down to just discuss the recent news in the mobility space so this episode begins with a recap of some of the gang's recent stories and activities. The news of Daimler & BMW's cooperation on automated driving technology sparks a conversation about consolidation among AV and other expensive technology efforts, as well as the challenges of distinguishing brands and product in commodified mobility services.Plus: Polestar 2 takes on the Model 3, Elon Musk gets into more SEC trouble, and The Autonocast has plans for SXSW. 

For decades Tier One suppliers like ZF have quietly become some of the most powerful players in the auto industry, steadily eating more and more of the automotive value chain. Now, like the OEMs, big suppliers have to hedge their traditional automotive businesses with investments in the technologies of the future. Oliver Briemle heads up a big part of that effort at ZF, leading development of a range of of Level Four solutions for the supplier's $12 billion bet on automated driving. He sat down with Ed and Alex at CES to explain how ZF is trying to support its partners in this massive transition while carving out an even bigger piece of the future mobility value chain.

Just before the big Autonocast CES party, Sterling Anderson joined the gang at their lavish Las Vegas suite to discuss his earlier work with augmented driving, why he moved into Level 4 autonomy, how to think about California's autonomous testing disengagement reports and how Aurora approaches development and validation. Plus, why you won't see Aurora participating in any cross-country autonomous cannonball races.