Autonomous vehicle development needs to be gradual, focused on safety

The race to producing fully autonomous vehicles is heating up, and Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky is among the leaders in this space. At the 2020 MICHauto Summit, Salesky sat down with “Autoline” Host John McElroy to discuss the gradually evolving mobility industry and one of his company’s core priorities: safety.
 

According to Salesky, each year, 37,000 people die from traffic collisions in the United States, with the number exceeding 1 million worldwide. Traffic collisions are also the leading cause of death in the United States for people between 18 and 35 years old.
 

“The general public does not know that autonomy is one of the best bets we have to resolve this,” said Salesky. But to do this, he acknowledges the costs are high and the technology will be a gradual evolution.
 

When asked about how this technology will evolve, Salesky was quick to point to shared services like ride-hailing and delivery vehicles. From a business perspective, these fleets will be monetized on a per mile basis that is spread over the lifetime of the vehicle. Eventually, autonomous vehicles will be available for personal use.
 

“I try to be the voice of reason in this whole sector. It’s going to be a gradual ramp,” said Salesky about the quickly evolving autonomous driving sector.
 

Argo AI takes the same approach to their work in developing autonomous driving technology.
 

“We are clear with our partners before they invest that we want to do this the right way,” he continued.
 

While Argo wants to service billions of users and millions of cars, they also want to work with businesses that will work together long-term, not just a short-term engagement. The process to developing autonomous vehicles is more than just building a car – it is building an entire system.
 

Salesky said building these systems require real-world data to deal with the nuances and that the only way to learn is to test the technology in different cities. As a gradual process, it requires patience and labor, but the final product is an amazing technological advancement.
 

“Some people outside the industry don’t appreciate that it’s 30,000 parts that come together at one. It’s very impressive,” he said.

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