Recently, the entire automotive world has been obsessed with a single vehicle: Porsche's new electric sportscar, the Taycan. Alex and Kirsten were among those invited to the Taycan's official reveal, and share their thoughts on its price, positioning, performance and (most importantly) pronunciation. Meanwhile, Ed wonders if it even matters quite as much as the Tesla-dominated EV discourse makes it out to be.

To celebrate the launch of Ed's new book LUDICROUS: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors, Alex and Kirsten put his mantra that "critical coverage is a sign of love and support, not hate" to the test. Leveraging their respective experience as a Tesla fan and a tough journalist, Alex and Kirsten grill Ed on the positions, principles and journalistic practices behind LUDICROUS and his Tesla coverage more generally. What follows is something of a throwback to the intense Tesla debates of the Autonocast's earliest episodes, and a spirited discussion about one of the most interesting and important stories in the world of mobility.

There is no more important question int he world of autonomous vehicle development than the one that has become something of a conference panel cliche: "how safe is safe enough?" The Israeli startup Foretellix isn't trying to answer that question themselves, but they are developing the tools with which companies and regulators may someday verify the safety of autonomous vehicles. Co-founder and CEO Ziv Binyamini explains why this task is so challenging, how Foretellix is developing a testing and measurement paradigm using techniques pioneered in chip design and who might adopt it as autonomous vehicles come closer to reality.

With GM's Cruise autonomous division backing away from its goal of deploying robotaxis in San Francisco this year, the gang discusses the pros and cons of different approaches to this unique moment in the autonomous drive space. Cruise's pivot from overambitious goal-setting represents one approach, Tesla's continued bluster and trend-defying confidence is another, while Navya's woes show that even seemingly more-pragmatic strategies can lead to overblown expectations and financial and technical challenges. These three case studies anchor a wide-ranging discussion about the expectations and realities of self-driving vehicles, how the hype got so out of control and how to start to bring it back down to earth.

After a few chaotic weeks that have seen Kirsten putting on a wildly successful mobility conference for TechCrunch, Alex's employer Argo AI signing a hugely impactful deal with Volkswagen and Ed preparing to launch his book, the gang gets back together for the first time in a while. After catching up on some of the recent news, the show cuts to Kirsten and Ed's conversation with Zoox co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson from the Renovo minivan outside the TC Mobility Session conference. Having long awaited the chance to learn more about the ambitious and sometimes-enigmatic startup, Ed and Kirsten pepper Levinson with questions about Zoox's plans, partners and self-driving system in a relatively brief but packed conversation about a company that is rethinking the car from the ground up.

With Alex off on a mysterious "special operation" South of the border, Kirsten and Ed turn to the whirlwind of partnerships and acquisitions that has made the autonomous vehicle space so interesting of late. Sifting through each recent deal, interpreting its meaning and connecting the dots, this search for broader meaning in a complex and interconnected sector yields provocative insights and possibilities. Looking forward, the question becomes: who will be the next automaker or AV developer to make a move that shakes up the space all over again? Plus, Kirsten previews her upcoming TechCrunch Mobility Session, which will be held on July 10 in San Jose and will include the Autonocast.

With fully autonomous cars taking longer to develop than some had hoped, partial automation and driver assistance is coming back into focus and with it all the thorny problems of human machine interfaces. Carl Pickering, the former head of Autonomous Technology Strategy and Global HMI Manager at Jaguar Land Rover has a new startup called ADAM Cogtec that he thinks could provide a breakthrough in attention management. Using technology derived from techniques used to measure cognition levels in coma patients, ADAM is taking an entirely new approach that could change how the relationship between man and machine is managed.

There's a war quietly raging right now, over something you probably never guessed people would get worked up over: an open data standard that allows cities to manage shared mobility services. Launched by two-time Autonocast guest and LA DOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds, the Mobility Data Standard is tipping the balance of power away from well-funded startup invaders and towards city officials... and startups are fighting back. David Zipper of the German Marshall Fund, Citylab, The Atlantic and more has been covering this conflict better and for longer than anyone, and he joins the show to help Alex, Kirsten and Ed make sense of it.

The Autonocast's partnership with Siemens and the AutoSens conference rolls on from Detroit, with a conversation about how cities can prepare for autonomous vehicles. Joining the conversation are Ed Olsen of May Mobility, Marcus Welz of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems and Ed Bernardon of Siemens Strategic Automotive Initiatives, who combine their various areas of focus in a lively conversation about the promises and challenges of urban AVs. With May's autonomous shuttles and Siemens' smart city infrastructure systems already deployed in real cities, the lessons learned are already reshaping perspectives on this complex and evolving topic.