SELF DRIVING BIG TRUCKS * USA: "Otto" branded
* California - Ex-Googlers building the self-driving big rig trucks of the future
(Video from Otto - May 16, 2016: Meet Otto, the company behind new self-driving trucking technology. Join us for the journey)
--- Ex-Googler, Lior Ron, latest professional turn involves helping fit some of the 4.3 million trucks on U.S. roadways with the technology kits his new startup Otto is developing that can turn those hulking rigs into completely autonomous trucks. Because while commercial trucks may be something of an unsexy progression coming from software engineering at a place like Google, they nevertheless represent a potent technology challenge for the team at Otto, a young startup with abundant ambition that operates out of a space in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood... Anthony Levandowski, was also a co-founder and technical lead for Google’s self-driving car project... The rest of Otto’s 40-strong team comes from companies like Google, Tesla and Apple. It’s a contingent of talent racing toward the same autonomous future that big tech companies want to hasten with their myriad self-driving car efforts... Safely, of course, being the operative word, at a time when concern has mounted over autonomous driving technology thanks to a recent Tesla fatality. Ron, though, insists the data is on Otto’s side... Where Otto breaks ranks with some supporters of semi-autonomous driving technology — where humans, essentially, can take the wheel if needed — is in Otto’s insistence that it’s safer for humans not to be involved at all. If a driver isn’t actively engaged in the act of driving, Otto believes that driver shouldn’t be expected to jump on the wheel with possibly a split-second’s warning, Ron said... So far, Otto has outfitted four trucks with its kit and has been testing the self-driving capabilities on highways in California. Otto’s technology includes sensors it’s built that sit on top of the truck, in addition to self-driving software... The company says its in-truck computer system and software are able to executive real-time driving decisions based on readings from the sensors...
San Francisco, CAL, USA - BGR, by Andy Meek - Jul 25, 2016