b'11An Argo self-driving vehicle crosses the Smithfield Street Bridge in the companys hometown, Pittsburgh.everywhere and the strange, burned-powder odor of the exploded airbag. For my mom, the crash was traumatic. For me, it was a lesson that I would revisit many times in the coming decades: a driver is only as safe as the other people and vehicles surrounding her on the road.Argo AI is a self-driving technology company built on that insight. We believe that safety is the preeminent value, the foundation on which all others are built. According to the U.S. Department of Transportations National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 36,096 fatalities in motor-vehicle traffic crashes in 2019 in the United States. That is a shocking numberand it is of course dwarfed by the number of people injured in crashes: more than 2.7 million people in 2019. Many of these are people like my mom, their lives permanently marked by the terror of surviving a car crash. One of the surest ways we can help people around the world is by vastly reducing the number of people injured in crashes, not to mention the hundreds of billions in economic damages that such incidents incur. In order to make that impact, we have to solve complex technical challenges in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vi-sion. We must transform supply chains and logistics at scale. And, most important, we must earn and keep the trust of consumers. We all know the damage that one accident can do to a familys lifeor to a companys reputation. This is why we at Argo are dedicated to perfecting self-driv-ing and delivering our product only when it is ready.While we are moving aggressively to launch an SAE Level 4-capable autonomous vehicle with the help of our automaker partners, Ford and Volkswagen, we will not cut corners or take any shortcuts. We test and deploy our self-driving system the best and safest way we know how: me-thodically.In every city where were currently testingseven across the United States and Germanywe employ a street-by-street and block-by-block mind-set (see the sidebar below for more on what this means). We engage with policy-makers, regulators, community groups, and advocacy organizations, such as those representing cyclists and pedestrians. We go in with open ears, implement new procedures to ensure maximum safety, and deploy test vehicles only after theyve been thoroughly tested through a mix of simulation and closed-course trials.For us, this isnt just the right way to create self-driving technology, its the only way.As this book will highlight, we can only accomplish this mission by recruiting and training a diverse workforce and treating them well. We make efforts to give back to our community, especially in times of need like during the COVID-19 pandemic (page 52). We fund and supportcrucial research at Carnegie Mellon University (page 94). And we invest in the future through internships, our initiative to support neurodiver-sity in the workplace, and our large-scale self-driving data collection for the research community, Argoverse (page 56).Im proud of all of these initiatives and the huge team thats commit-ted to making them succeed. With all of us working togethernot just as a group of individuals, but as crucial parts of a much bigger systemwe will achieve our mission. Im honored to join you on the ride.FullBook_Mar24.indb 11 4/25/21 6:41 PM'