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Hear from Lyft, Cruise, Nuro and Aurora about the road ahead for driverless vehicles

Hear from Lyft, Cruise, Nuro and Aurora about the road ahead for driverless vehicles

Autonomous automobiles have but to turn out to be mainstream, however firms like Lyft, Cruise, Nuro and Aurora are nonetheless preventing the great combat. The AV area has all the time confronted its share of regulatory and growth hurdles, however this 12 months introduced a brand new set of hurdles with the COVID-19 pandemic.

At TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility, we’ll hear from Cruise, Lyft, Nuro and Aurora about the place they’re of their respective journeys to public deployment and the way they’ve navigated the 12 months.

Cruise Director of Government Affairs Prashanthi Raman 

Earlier this 12 months, earlier than the world blew up, Cruise acquired a allow in California to start transporting passengers. Cruise additionally started focusing extra on {hardware} earlier this 12 months. That all got here after Cruise had already scrapped its plans to launch a robotaxi service in 2019. In the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cruise laid off 8% of its workforce in May in an try to chop prices. As a part of the restructuring, Cruise stated it could double down on its engineering efforts.

Meanwhile, Cruise nonetheless has its eyes set on public deployment, which is the place the experience of Raman is available in. It’s her job to assist Cruise navigate the murky regulatory waters of autonomous automobiles.

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Nuro Chief Legal & Policy Officer David Estrada 

Nuro, an autonomous supply startup, takes a barely totally different method to autonomous automobiles. Instead of transporting individuals, Nuro transports items. In April, Nuro acquired a allow to start driverless testing in California. The startup, which raised $940 million from SoftBank’s Vision Fund final 12 months, goals to ship groceries and different items to prospects at scale.

Estrada, who beforehand led authorized and coverage operations at Bird and authorities relations at Lyft, isn’t any stranger to enjoying ball with regulatory companies. It’s as much as him to make sure Nuro positive factors the belief of the general public by proving the corporate’s dedication to security and the regulation.

Lyft Self-Driving Platform Director Jody Kelman

Lyft first started testing its autonomous automobiles in California in late 2018. The firm needed to pause these operations earlier this 12 months because of the pandemic, however resumed testing in late June.

That similar month, Lyft started utilizing information from its ride-hailing app to construct 3D maps, higher perceive human driving patterns and enhance simulation checks for the corporate’s autonomous automobile program.

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As a part of Lyft’s go-to-market technique, it has partnered with various firms. A key companion for Lyft has been Aptiv, which as of February, offered 100,000 paid rides on the Lyft app.

“We’ve obtained one thing right here,” Kelman stated on the time to TechCrunch’s Kirsten Korosec. “This is known as a blueprint for what future mobility partnerships can appear to be.”

Aurora Senior Manager of Government Relations Melissa Froelich

Aurora, which launched again in 2017, had been creating a full-stack resolution for self-driving automobiles that prioritized robotaxis. That modified in October 2019, when Aurora started focusing extra on vans and logistics and declared vans could be the corporate’s first business product.

Trucking comes with its personal bag of worms, however people appear to imagine that AV trucking has a clearer path to profitability. In July, Aurora expanded into Texas to check business routes. At TC Sessions: Mobility, Froelich will talk about how Aurora is navigating the autonomous trucking area and the challenges it faces.

Get your tickets for TC Sessions: Mobility to listen to from these thought-leaders from Nuro, Lyft, Cruise and Lyft, together with a number of different improbable audio system from Porsche, Waymo, Lyft and extra. Tickets are simply $145 for a restricted time, with reductions for teams, college students and exhibiting startups. We hope to see you there!

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