Waymo’s Twitter account posted a message today soliciting questions from the public.

This is such a great thing to do. Publicly-traded companies typically hold quarterly earnings calls with Wall Street analysts. Those analysts get to ask any questions they want, and the answers are shared with the world in real time. But the general public rarely gets an opportunity to ask questions themselves.

Waymo isn’t even a public company yet (although it is under the Alphabet umbrella), so there’s certainly no expectation that Waymo would field questions from investors or anybody else. But it’s a great PR move.

I got…

Pandaily reports that Chinese electric carmaker XPeng just completed an 8-day, 2200-mile (3600-kilometer) test of its advanced driver assistance system, called Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP).

The route began at XPeng’s headquarters in Guangzhou and proceeded along the coast, through Shanghai, to Beijing.

One of the silver linings of the pandemic is the movement of many events online, and the access that provides to people around the world. NVIDIA’s upcoming GPU Technology Conference seems likely to be a perfect example.

Every year, NVIDIA puts on a world-class conference that is a mix of academic and industry presentations. This year, the conference is open to the world, streaming live, starting on April 12.

The speaker list includes academic luminaries, such as Geoffrey Hinton, Daphne Kohler, Raquel Urtusan, Yann LeCun, and Bryan Catanzaro, alongside industry leaders like Jesse Levinson, Drew Bagnell, and Chris Wright.


Waymo CEO John Krafcik resigned yesterday, which seemed to surprise just about everybody.

After 5 exhilarating years leading this team, I’ve decided to depart from my CEO role at Waymo & kick-off new adventures. To start, I’m looking forward to a refresh period, reconnecting with old friends & family, and discovering new parts of the world. /1 https://t.co/cP2tZTQdu0 https://t.co/doPoW6wWli

- John Krafcik (@johnkrafcik) April 2, 2021

Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov, previously the COO and CTO, will step into co-CEO positions. As of right now, Mawakana hasn’t yet updated her LinkedIn profile, which perhaps illustrates the suddenness of the announcement.

Cruise is hiring product managers!

People sometimes ask me why I entered the autonomous vehicle world as a engineer, instead of a product manager. One reason is that, when I started working on autonomous vehicles in 2015, there were no products to manage! Self-driving cars have long been an engineering research and development effort.

But products are starting to emerge! That means AV companies like Cruise are finally starting to hire product managers. If you are a PM, this is your moment!

Take Oliver up on his invitation to DM him ASAP. You can also apply for jobs through the Cruise website, or email your résumé to me.

This is such a fun and rewarding field, and what Cruise has accomplished already is amazing. Join us!

Originally published at http://davidsilver.blog on March 30, 2021.

Next month Volkswagen plans to rebrand in the US as “Voltswagen”, in order to focus consumer attention on its new electric vehicles. Apparently a web snafu caused the VW press team to accidentally post the press release a month early, which is why the news hit the media today, even though the rebranding is targeted for April.

Volkswagen has been calling a lot of attention to its electric platform, especially the ID. Buzz, a re-imagining of the iconic Volkswagen Bus on a battery-powered platform. Quantitatively, the company targets that by 2030 at least 70% of its European new car sales will be electric, along with over half of its new car sales in the US and China.

Originally published at http://davidsilver.blog on March 30, 2021.

TechCrunch wrote recently about a possible complication faced by TuSimple in their upcoming IPO — Chinese investors.

“Sun Dream, an affiliate of Sina Corporation, which runs China’s biggest microblogging platform Sina Weibo..is TuSimple’s largest shareholder, with 20% Class A shares.”

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) is raising some concerns, although it’s not yet clear what will come of this case. What is known is that CFIUS has begun raising orders of magnitude more objections to foreign investment in the last few years. …

I was pleased to read that Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta just announced a partnership with Toyota, including what Reuters reports to be a $500 million investment.

I have no special connection to Momenta, but I hadn’t read much about them recently, so I am happy to see they’re thriving. Momenta made a small splash upon their founding several years ago. The team came from Microsoft Research Asia, where they developed ResNet, still one of the foundational architectures for deep neural networks.

Momenta gets very little press in the US, probably due to the lack of a US presence. Their…

Today is my first day at Cruise Automation!

I am joining the Motion Planning and Controls group, specifically on the Architecture & Acceleration team.

Here’s how Cruise describes my role:

“Own the SW architecture of the Motion Planning and Controls Stack and work closely with domain experts in creating an efficient and performant framework for implementing Controls and Motion Planning algorithms that control the AV”

The People Operations Team at Cruise has developed a thorough onboarding process called Ignition. …

Today is my last day as a Voyage employee. Cruise acquired us, and I will start there next week. I’m excited to join Cruise, but leaving Voyage is bittersweet.

I started at Voyage three months ago, almost to the day, so my tenure has been short, but fun and memorable. I joined in large part because I was excited to work with a small, amazing group of engineers. Voyage lived up to expectations — my manager, as well as our VP of Engineering, and of course our CEO, Oliver Cameron, have all been terrific. …

David Silver

I love self-driving cars and I work on them at Cruise! https://getcruise.com

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