b'45T H E F U T U R E O F S E L F - D R I V I N G, F R O M A D R I V I N G E N T H U S I A S TI once risked life and limb as a racer. So how did I end up at a company synonymous with road safety?By ALEX ROYDirector of Special OperationsIf you had told me15 years ago that I would end up working atfrom coast to coast. It means understanding every nuance of every street a self-driving car company, first I wouldve laughed. And then Id haveand highway along that route, down to each local law and regulation, turned around and jumped back into my own car to keep training.construction site and school zone, traffic sign and speed bump. It means Back in the mid-2000s, I was singularly focused on my goal of driv- being 100% in tune with your vehicle and 150% aware of your surround-ing across the United States in under 32 hours and 7 minutes. Thatings. Most of all, it requires a laser focus on safety: for yourself, your was the then-record time, set in 1983, for the Cannonball Run, thecopilot, and for everybody and everything you are about to speed past in transcontinental race made famous in the titular movie starring Burtwhat you hope is your record-breaking journey. Reynolds. When youre working toward setting a new record in a raceSo 15 years later, why would I, rally-car lover, Cannonball Run re-as daringand, some would say, nutsas this, you cant entertaincord-holder (we did it in 31 hours and 4 minutes in 2006), choose to distractions.work for an autonomous driving company? My short answer is that I Success means poring over data and maps to plan the optimal routewouldntat least not for just any company. FullBook_Mar24.indb 45 4/25/21 6:42 PM'