Bryan Salesky, Co-Founder & CEO, Argo AI, took part in the Leadership Interview hosted by Paul Mascarenas OBE, at FISITA PLUS on Thursday 23 July. In this excerpt, Bryan discuss the key differences between Argo AI and other autonomous driving technology companies.This is the second of four excerpts.
There are a lot of self-driving car companies out there - how are you differentiating yourself, what’s different in the approach and how you're standing out from the crowd?
Argo started from the beginning with the idea that we were going to focus on the software and hardware that that enables a platform to drive itself, that we would work with the automakers in a very close, tightly integrated way to build the full product and then take it to market.
There’s a lot of companies out there that I think are taking on the entire stack if you will - everything from vehicle engineering to the self-driving technology itself to taking it to the marketplace. As to how a lot of these systems are initially going to be fielded in shared fleets of autonomous vehicles so there’s a demand generation component to it there’s a marketplace that these vehicles need to be put into in order to earn money someday. We recognize that all three of those areas are massive huge endeavours in and of themselves and are capital intensive activities that requires a lot of people and a lot of time to pull together. So, we felt we would focus on what we knew best, which is the self-driving stack and let’s partner to bring the other pieces to life.
I’m curious as you go about developing the technology and who you and your team are thinking of as the customer? Is it the end user, is it the OEMs or is it some kind of a hybrid of the two?
Yeah, I break it down into three different really important stakeholders. They’re really all customers in one-way shape or form: the first is our OEM partners where they’re relying on us to build the technology and work with them on how to safely integrate that into a vehicle and you know we jointly perform a lot of the engineering and testing that goes into making sure that’s done properly.
The second would be the rider in a car, so in the case of moving people that we obviously are responsible for the ride comfort. At the end of the day they need to have a safe enjoyable ride and they need to have trust in the technology.
Then there’s a third stakeholder that actually doesn’t get talked about a lot but I think is really important and that is the other, I’ll call them road citizens, around us, so whether you’re a biker, a pedestrian, another vehicle at the end of the day you want to know that we’re gonna interact with you in a safe manner. Whether that be giving a big truck more room to make a wide turn, moving over for a bike to give them a sufficient and safe room to move through an intersection, you know that we look at all of those folks as important stakeholders in what we’re doing.
FISITA PLUS sessions were held every Thursday throughout July. Replays of all are available as follows: