In the words of Dr Sven Beiker, the important question is not when autonomous vehicles will be deployed but where they will be deployed. As autonomous drive technology matures and companies get closer to deploying, the question of where autonomous vehicles can have the most positive impact is becoming more important than ever. To explore this question, we're kicking off a "City Series" here at The Autonocast that will look at the challenges and opportunities facing autonomous mobility in different cities and regions. To kick off this series,we're joined by Avery Ash of INRIX. Avery explains how INRIX developed a ranking of cities most likely to benefit from shared autonomous electric vehicles, where the data to make these decisions come from and how companies and municipalities alike can work together to ensure that the future of mobility has as positive an impact as possible

Mapping has always been an important aspect of autonomous drive technology, but the full range of opportunities for maps in the future of mobility isn't always fully appreciated. This week Dr Sanjay Sood, head of Highly Automated Driving at the mapping juggernaut HERE, joins The Autonocast to explain why maps are so crucial, how they are being used to solve all kinds of mobility challenges and where the future of mapping is headed.

Dr Melissa Cefkin is one of many scientists working on the challenge of developing and deploying autonomous cars at Nissan's Silicon Valley research lab. But she's a bit different than most scientists working in this space: she's a social scientist, specifically an anthropologist. On this episode of The Autonocast, she joins the crew to explain why social science is so important to the development of autonomous cars, and how her team contributes to Nissan's work in this sector.

Dr Stephen Zoepf of Stanford's Center for Automotive Research recently wrote a thoughtful commentary at Reuters about the complex nature of autonomous vehicle safety. Dr Zoepf joins the latest episode of The Autonocast to explain his thoughts on this fascinating topic with Alex, Kirsten and Ed. The conversation continues with a discussion of the California DMV's annual disengagement report, and the recently-promulgated Shared Mobility Principles For Livable Cities.

The massive Tier One automotive supplier Delphi was a relatively early player in autonomy, having completed a cross-country drive way back in 2015. Now the autonomous and future mobility technology side of Delphi has been split off from the more traditional supplier business and is now a standalone company called Aptiv. Kirsten and Ed met up with Aptiv at CES, where they took a ride in one of the company's test vehicles, caught up with its development plans and found out why autonomous cars are a bit like elevators.

With a bunch of stories breaking in the ridesharing space, we discuss the challenges, opportunities and trends currently shaping that market. From vansharing in London to potential flirtation between BMW and Daimler's ridesharing plays, from San Francisco's lawsuit against Turo to the travails of airport TNC chaos and the need for a Fifth Element-style "multipass," this episode packs it in. Plus we solicit sponsors to help us cover the upcoming Self Racing Cars event, because how awesome would that be?

For all the attention that is put on developing the technology for autonomous driving, there's another challenge that gets far less attention: what will the business model for these new technologies look like? While some startups are developing the technology without a clear go-to-market strategy, Ford is making sure that they know how to make money with autonomous cars as soon as the technology is ready. This week Jim Farley, Ford's Executive Vice President for global markets, and Sherif Marakby, Ford's Vice President for Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification, join the Autonocast to explain how and why Ford is working toward a high-utilization business strategy for autonomous personal mobility and commercial delivery.

For the second year in a row the Navigant Leaderboard Report on Automated Driving Vehicles has created a bundle of controversy by ranking establish automakers higher than Silicon Valley tech companies in the race to autonomous vehicles. This week Navigant's Senior Research Analyst for automated vehicles, Sam Abuelsamid, joins the Autonocast to explain how he came up with these often-misunderstood rankings and why factors beyond the technology itself are so important. If you've ever wondered why GM and Ford rank so high on Navigant's leaderboard and companies like Tesla rank so low, be sure to give this episode a listen.

Laser imaging sensor technology, known as lidar, has become one of the technologies most important technological enablers of autonomous drive. In order to better understand where lidar comes from and where it is going, the gang sits down with the man who invented the technology and the team that helps him run the biggest name in the lidar business. Velodyne founder and CEO David Hall invented lidar, pivoting his company from the (Alex Roy-approved) subwoofer business into the cutting edge of laser imaging. Joined by his wife, Velodyne President Marta Thoma Hall, as well as the company's Chief Technology Officer Anand Gopalan, Hall takes The Autonocast inside the technology, company and markets he helped create. This is part two of an hour-long conversation; part one can be found in Autonocast episode #45.

Laser imaging sensor technology, known as lidar, has become one of the technologies most important technological enablers of autonomous drive. In order to better understand where lidar comes from and where it is going, the gang sits down with the man who invented the technology and the team that helps him run the biggest name in the lidar business. Velodyne founder and CEO David Hall invented lidar, pivoting his company from the (Alex Roy-approved) subwoofer business into the cutting edge of laser imaging. Joined by his wife, Velodyne President Marta Thoma Hall, as well as the company's Chief Technology Officer Anand Gopalan, Hall takes The Autonocast inside the technology, company and markets he helped create. This is part one of an hour-long conversation, which will be concluded in the next episode of The Autonocast.

Over the last decade or so the Consumer Electronics Show has become one of the biggest auto shows in the world, with a special emphasis on cutting edge new mobility technologies. This year, the entire Autonocast crew descended on Las Vegas to take in the show, sample the sublime and the absurd on display, and go beyond the ubiquitous hype in a series of deep conversations with the people tackling some of the toughest problems in the space. Oh yeah, and they also threw a party. On this episode Alex, Kirsten and Ed look back at the show, discuss their biggest takeaways and preview some of the conversations that will be featured here on the Autonocast in the coming weeks.

When you think about autonomous drive technology you probably don't think of Florida, but one state Senator is trying to change that. Senator Jeff Brandes has been working to make Florida a hub of autonomous drive testing and deployment ever since joining the state's legislature in 2011. With a background in military logistics and the shipping business Brandes brings a unique perspective to the challenges and opportunities presented by the new world of autonomous mobility policy and regulation.

The gang gets together just before the start of CES to look at some of the big news that's breaking ahead of the most important (non-car-show) car show of the year. The biggest early-breaking CES news is Aurora Innovations exiting stealth mode, revealing their partnerships with Volkswagen and Hyundai, and generally transforming the autonomous drive technology landscape. Johan Jungwirth, the Chief Digital Officer of the Volkswagen Group, joins the conversation to explain why VW joined forces with Aurora and where he sees the partnership heading.

For all the focus on consumer markets for new mobility technologies, commercial vehicles will be some of the first to adopt autonomous and electric drive technologies. One firm attempting to electrify "last mile" delivery vehicles is Chanje, a Los Angeles-based electric vehicle and energy solutions company. Alex, Kirsten and guest host Josh Hartung of PolySync sit down with Chanje COO Joerg Sommer to find out how and why he sees delivery fleets moving into the future.

One of the dynamics that makes the world of new mobility technology so fascinating is the contrast between the giant, decades-old automakers and the much smaller high-tech startups that seek to partner or compete with them. Perhaps the most important question this dynamic raises is: how can the giant industrial firms respond to new technological threats and develop new businesses while maintaining their profit machines? Peter Schwarzenbauer, board member of BMW Group, joins us this week to answer this and other questions from the strategic perspective of a major automaker.

Autonomous drive technology may be creating a new generation of car fans, but it's got a long way to go before matching what Forza Motorsport has done. Alex and Ed caught up with Forza founder Dan Greenawalt at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and picked his brain about his hugely influential game series, the evolving nature of automotive enthusiasm, and the links between gaming and mobility technology.