FISITA PLUS 2020 - Mark Preston: Accessible, affordable, self-driving technology



July 2020

Mark Preston, Chief Strategy Officer, StreetDrone, will be speaking at FISITA PLUS on Thursday 9 July about “Accessible, affordable, self-driving technology”. We asked him a few questions prior to the event:

1. What are the major projects you and your organisation are currently working on?

We are currently working on developing our Level 4 capability for our vehicles which will be a big step for us on the road to autonomy. We are also doing a lot of work around the area of logistics which will be highlighted in our presentation to FISITA, key to all of this is making self-driving technology affordable and accessible.

Part of this route to affordable and accessible autonomy is the ASLAN open source autonomous driving project that we are launching soon which will allow anyone to get involved in autonomous development, even without one of our vehicles. And if you do have one of our vehicles it will be even easier to get running on the road!

2. How has your work been affected by coronavirus?

Coronavirus has mainy effected our manufacturing department, who have responded incredibly professionally and instigated a full suite of process and procedures to make sure the work environment is safe for all of our staff. We were already setup as a remote capable business given our high tech nature and therefore this switch was pretty seamless, although I will say we are looking forward to meeting in person as soon as it is safe!

COVID19 has accelerated our work in the logistics area, specifically focussed on low speed environments where contactless deliveries are only going to become more important.

3. How long do you expect the impact of coronavirus will last and what long-term effects will it have on the areas of the industry that you focus on?

We can only go by what the government advises us on the time frame to a vaccine for COVID19, but until that time we will keep our procedures in place and follow the government recommended guidelines to keep our staff safe and well.

I think this has only accelerated our work in the logistics space which obviously autonomous vehicles are very suited too. We are building on the work that we have done on our StreetDrone Twizy platform which suits itself extremely well to move from a Level 2 vehicle with a safety driver to what we like to call an “Amazon locker on wheels” full Level 4 vehicle able to operate in low speed operational design domains.

4. What are you planning on talking about at FISITA PLUS and what types of people do you think will benefit from what you have to say?

I will be talking specifically about the work that we are doing at StreetDrone which is prioritising finding viable business models by making affordability one of the key elements of our work. We will go through the Top 10 areas we see as crucial to driving down costs, especially in the area of low speed autonomy in specific operational design domains. Anyone interested in how they can get into autonomy now will be interested to learn how we are making it affordable and accessible to OEM’s, Teir 1’s, fleet operators, startups, testing centres and universities.

Register to attend Future Technologies session including Mark’s presentation on Thursday 9 July here.

FISITA PLUS will happen every Thursday throughout July. Find out more in a recent LinkedIn post by FISITA CEO Chris Mason. Registration for the four tracks with a choice of European morning and afternoon sessions (to suit attendees in different time zones) is available as follows: