Audio Podcast

One of the potential applications for A.I. driving is grocery delivery, which AutoX has been working on in San Jose, California

AutoX Road to an Autonomous Driving Future

Interview with Jewel Li, COO of the California and China-based developers of A.I. controlled self-driving systems

In a recent survey of American attitudes towards autonomous vehicles (AV) , the results weren't all that encouraging. Three in four American's don't think self-driving cars and truck are "ready for primetime." Only 34 percent think their advantages outweigh their disadvantages. Twenty percent think autonomous vehicles will never be safe. Only 18 percent say they are eager to get on a wait list for self-driving vehicles.

Clearly, autonomous driver developers like San Jose-based AutoX has its work cut out for it, along with Waymo, Tesla and the others working on taking distractible, fatigue-prone humans out of the driver's seat. But according to Jewel Li, AutoX's COO, this hesitancy to turn our fate over to a bunch of electronic sensors, controlled by a supercomputer, directed by complex algorithms that have been developed by those same error-prone humans, just may be the manifestation of a century of American car culture that equates driving with independence.

But in the population-dense Orient, attitudes are different and the market exceptionally large. There AutoX and its partner companies, which include Alibaba, BYD, and Great Wall Motor Company, see huge potential for taking both ride hailing and goods logistics to the next level.

In this nearly 40-minute interview, the full length of which will be available to EV World patrons, Ms. Li shares her insights into the current state of AV technology, the role AutoX seeks to play, where she sees self-driving headed, and what challenges lay ahead. Intriguingly, where many observers think it may be another decade before self-driving becomes an accepted norm, she thinks it could be just two years away. Clearly, she understands the underlying A.I. having previously worked on IBM's Watson project. She left IBM to work for Jianxiong Xiao, AutoX's founder and a respected "deep learning" researcher from MIT who founded the company in a Silicon Valley garage - where else? - in 2016.

The MP3 player recording to the right is some six-minutes in length during which Ms. Li talks about the technology behind AV and the levels of autonomous driving.

First Published: 2020-05-19

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