Get the Dirt on Self-Driving
Welcome back to The Stack, a monthly newsletter from Argo AI featuring the best content about the field we’re all so passionate about: self-driving cars.
This month’s edition covers the expansion of self-driving technology around the globe, its de-facto capital city (can you guess where?), the iconic vehicle that inspired our new self-driving collaboration with Volkswagen, and another sharp #RoysRazor piece, among others…
Ready to roll? Let’s go!
Slinging Mud (In A Good Way!)
For some people, a mud-splattered vehicle is a point of pride, showcasing its ruggedness, strength and grit after driving through harsh conditions. Similarly, self-driving vehicles need to be able to handle mud, bugs and whatever other conditions they might encounter along their drives — so that they can keep their sensors clean and perception system working properly.
Engineers here at Argo AI developed a clever solution for testing the sensor cleaning and perception capabilities of our self-driving system: a literal “mud cannon” that intentionally splatters a vehicle’s sensors at our test track. Watch it in all its grimy glory and read how it was developed here, the first part in our new series, “Testing the Edge,” which explores our many inventive test devices and methods.
Earlier this year, Argo AI and Volkswagen announced the companies would bring the first self-driving VW vehicle — the all-electric ID. Buzz AD — to ride-pooling passengers in Germany beginning in 2025.
What makes the ID. Buzz design, based on its iconic predecessor, the VW microbus — a good fit for self-driving? An expert on the automotive sector weighs in on Ground Truth.
Self-Driving’s Hot Spots
Forget Carmen Sandiego — where in the world are self-driving cars going to be deployed at scale?
Based on critical factors like ride-hail demand, regulatory policies, weather and the embrace of new innovations, there are a few cities on the top of the list, according to transportation industry experts. Read their top picks here at Ground Truth.
Meanwhile, when it comes to where self-driving tech companies locate their corporate offices and hire talent, one city is leading the way: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. How did this Rust Belt town come to be the possible epicenter of the self-driving industry? Read and find out.
It’s not just the Steel City that’s seen more self-driving industry action lately: The Big Apple is also now among the handful of places around the world where autonomous vehicle companies are testing on public roads. Could self-driving vehicles help the famously congested “mean streets” of NYC? Read former New York City Department of Transportation chief engineer Sam Schwartz’s take here.
Alex Roy, columnist and father to daughter Coco, returns to Ground Truth to give us all an effective lesson in the difference between an autonomous vehicle (AV) and one with advanced driver assistance (ADAS) features — this time using elevators and escalators to drive home the point.
Read the latest article in the growing #RoysRazor series to find out.
On Our Radar (and Lidar)
Now hear this: Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky spoke about the inner workings of the company and technology to The Verge’s Nilay Patel on the Decoder podcast
Scientists at North Carolina State University published a study concluding that deploying autonomous vehicles as commercial fleets offers more benefits than prohibiting them
- Hold the anchovies: TechCrunch ran a series on Nuro, the delivery robot startup working with Domino’s Pizza and other companies to transport small goods
See some other cool/important/strange/noteworthy autonomy links you want to share? We’ll take them at Stack@argo.ai! We may just include your recommendations in a future edition of this newsletter.
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