Oliver Cameron (CEO, Voyage) - MIT Self-Driving Cars | Summary and Q&A

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February 18, 2019
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Lex Fridman
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Oliver Cameron (CEO, Voyage) - MIT Self-Driving Cars

TL;DR

Oliver Cameron, CEO of Voyage, shares the inside story of how their self-driving car startup came to be and their unique approach to building autonomous vehicles.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What was the motivation behind Oliver Cameron starting Voyage, a self-driving car startup?

Oliver Cameron's inspiration for founding Voyage came from his experience teaching online classes in self-driving cars through Udacity. He wanted to make autonomous vehicle technology more accessible and decided to start his own company to build self-driving cars.

Q: How did Voyage build its self-driving car curriculum?

Voyage partnered with industry experts to create a comprehensive curriculum that covered all aspects of self-driving car technology, including perception, prediction, planning, localization, and controls. The curriculum was designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base and the skills to contribute across the entire self-driving stack.

Q: Why did Voyage choose to focus on retirement communities for deploying their self-driving technology?

Retirement communities offered a unique opportunity for Voyage to deploy their self-driving technology in a controlled and simpler environment. The slower speeds, calmer roadways, and specific transportation challenges in these communities made them an ideal starting point for autonomous vehicles.

Q: How does Voyage address liability insurance for passengers in their self-driving cars?

Voyage has partnered with intact insurance to provide coverage and determine rates based on the data collected from their self-driving cars. The insurance rates may vary depending on the complexity of the environment and the level of autonomy required in a particular location.

Q: What is one of the unsolved problems in self-driving cars that Voyage is currently working on?

One of the challenges Voyage is focused on is improving perception in self-driving cars, particularly when it comes to detecting and classifying objects like foliage, shadows, and other edge cases. They are exploring different approaches, including deep learning algorithms, to minimize false negatives and enhance the accuracy of object identification.

Q: How has Voyage addressed the concerns and skepticism from potential users in retirement communities?

Voyage found that senior citizens in retirement communities were actually open and curious about self-driving cars. They saw the technology as an extension of the cars they were already familiar with and were interested in the potential benefits, such as increased mobility and independence. Voyage has focused on delivering a tailored product for seniors and building trust through open communication and transparency.

Q: What is the role of remote operators in Voyage's self-driving cars?

Remote operators play a crucial role in ensuring the safe operation of Voyage's self-driving cars. They have live access to the vehicle's camera feeds and can intervene if necessary, such as during extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen situations. Remote operators act as the eyes and ears of the self-driving cars, providing an added layer of safety and oversight.

Q: What was the motivation behind Oliver Cameron starting Voyage, a self-driving car startup?

Oliver Cameron's inspiration for founding Voyage came from his experience teaching online classes in self-driving cars through Udacity. He wanted to make autonomous vehicle technology more accessible and decided to start his own company to build self-driving cars.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Oliver Cameron shares the unconventional journey of Voyage, a self-driving car startup, and how they started by offering online classes in self-driving cars through Udacity.

  • Voyage built a curriculum focused on machine learning and robotics to train students in self-driving technology.

  • They also built their own self-driving car and successfully drove it from Mountain View to San Francisco without any disengagements.

  • Voyage now focuses on deploying their self-driving technology in retirement communities, where they see a clear market and the opportunity to address transportation challenges faced by seniors.

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