Agenda, Attendee List, & Presentation files now available to Autotech Council members in the library.

This month, Autotech Council members and guests meet online to discover which innovations are pushing the Autonomous Vehicle and Self-Driving segment into the future. Join OEMs, suppliers, startups and VCs to learn about the companies and technologies and driving this change what opportunities are still open in AV and Self-Driving.

  • Date: 12/11/2020 08:30 AM
  • Location Autotech Council Virtual Meeting Room



Silicon Valley, California, Dec 14 2020/Meeting Recap/ On Friday last week, the Autotech Council held a review on Autonomous Vehicles and Self-Driving cars. This topic has remained the hottest segment for innovation in the Mobility & Transport Sector over the past 5 years, with us constantly striving for the elusive goal of a level 5, fully self-driving car. And there has been reason for both pessimism, but also optimism, as AVs are riding the wave of innovation in multiple other segments:

  •  Computer Vision
  • AI & Machine Learning
  • Sharing Economy
  • Electrification
  • 5G
  • Internet of Things

But we're at a unique juncture, where the discussion is no longer theoretical. While Level 2+ systems are racking up millions of miles in Teslas and other makes, fully autonomous vehicles are also now in commercial, real-world deployments. Thus far, though, these real-world cases are in the sub-sector of known-roads, geofenced, pre-defined routes, or very-low-speed sidewalk bots. Nevertheless, we're sure that tremendous amounts of learning is taking place in these driverless vehicles, so this year we made this the focus of our meetings discussion agenda.

To kick us off, we always love to have a great general Industry Analyst set the stage for the topic at hand, and today we had industry-favorite Roger Lanctot from Strategy Analytics. Roger set the record straight about the probably timelines for autonomous, separating campus-based AV's from the multi-purpose passenger car, which is likely to take much longer to overcome all its challenges.

Following Roger, our industry Panel had three senior executives at the cutting edge of AVs, Michelle Avary, Head of Automotive and Autonomous Mobility for World Economic Forum, Nina Qi, COO of Voyage, Tara Lanigan, Director of Policy at May Mobility. They discussed deployments of AV ride share service in retirement communities, which both serve an eager market, and also benefit from working in a sub 35mph environment. This shifted into a discussion of the ability of shared AVs to both improve "accessibility" of people with limitations, but also how that can open up a wide market of demand for mobility. The panel addressed how these efforts can improve and grow out of the campus/geofenced sector and into boundary-free smart cities.

After the panel, we shifted into our trademark Rapid-fire presentations, where innovators and start-ups get a short window to present their innovations, and look to connect for potential partnerships. We had presentations in Sensors, Pedestrian safety, Testing, AI and ML, Positioning, and Data.

After our Rapid Fire presentations, we had our unique "Soft Close", where we finish the official meeting, but stay on Zoom for optional open mic conversation. In this day's Soft Close, we discussed the interesting topic that came out of our content: Does an AV get built with a one-vendor, soup-to-nuts "Single Stack", or does it get assembled from Best Of Breed solutions from multiple vendors. Chairman Derek Kerton likened the choice to the Massachusetts Route 128 versus Silicon Valley IBM Clone wars. The group's consensus was that there would be some of both, models, but that the modular, best-of-breed aggregated solution would be a more popular, and also likely to win out in the long run.

With thanks to our speakers, rapid fire presenters and the companies who demo'd after the meeting.  Meeting details, agenda and attendee list and member access to the presentations available at the links below.