August 2019 in automotive innovation: News from Waymo, Kodiak.ai, Daimler Trucks, Firstmile, T-Mobile and more
Last month I posted a quick recap of what was new in the automotive space which was rather well received on LinkedIn, so I thought I’d do it again: Here’s my personal pick of what’s exciting in automotive this August.
“Decoding the Autonomous Driving Landscape” – via Firstmile VC
This one came out July 31st but I absolutely had to include it: Firstmile has compiled an amazing overview of 232(!) firms active in the autonomous driving space, showing relevant clusters, partnerships and more with neat graphs and everything. You can find the article on Medium: https://medium.com/@firstmilevc/avlandscape-8a21491f1f54
“How Next-Gen Mobile Networks Will Transform Transportation Infrastructure” – via Forbes/T-Mobile
Most of the time we’re talking about automotive innovation, we’re looking at what we can change on/inside of individual cars. In this article, T-Mobile instead draws an interesting picture of the changes our driving infrastructure faces and takes a look at what next-gen connectivity and communication between cars and traffic lights might bring: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tmobile/2019/08/01/how-next-gen-mobile-networks-will-transform-transportation-infrastructure/
“Driverless Electric Trucks Are Coming, and They’ll Affect You More Than You Think” – via SingularityHub
Personally, I believe trucking to be the field that will make autonomous driving mainstream: We’re talking vehicles that are already fairly expensive, almost exclusively operated commercially and do 90% of their driving on highways, which are way easier to navigate than urban areas. Companies like Kodiak.ai, Plus.AI and others have entered the phase of commercials PoCs by now. Oh, and Daimler Trucks has announced their first electric semis will resume operation for Penske and NFI: https://singularityhub.com/2019/08/14/driverless-electric-trucks-are-coming-and-theyll-affect-you-more-than-you-think/
Waymo is arguably the most successful company in making autonomous driving happen. With the introduction of the “Waymo Open Dataset”, the company is now sharing a vast amount of the routes it has mapped with the autonomous driving community on an open source basis: https://venturebeat.com/2019/08/21/waymo-open-sources-data-set-for-autonomous-vehicle-multimodal-sensors/
“Autonomous Driving: Are Simulation and 3D Maps the Key to Success?” – via New Mobility World/IAA
This is where I sneak some atlatec stuff into the mix: As an exhibitor of this year’s New Mobility World at the IAA expo in Frankfurt, our CEO Henning was asked to contribute some thoughts to an article on the role of 3D maps for autonomous driving and other R&D applications. The article also takes a look at what sets Waymo apart from the rest of the field: https://www.iaa.de/en/nmw/for-visitors/experience-nmw/news/autonomous-driving-are-simulation-and-3d-maps-the-key-to-success
I’ll probably make this monthly recap a tradition. If you would like to be notified when the next one comes out you’re welcome to sign up for our newsletter here. If you’d like to share some thoughts on this article with me, feel free to reach out via email to or on LinkedIn!