Sterling Anderson, Co-Founder, Aurora - MIT Self-Driving Cars | Summary and Q&A

March 14, 2018
Lex Fridman
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Sterling Anderson, Co-Founder, Aurora - MIT Self-Driving Cars


Sterling Anderson, co-founder of Aurora and former head of Tesla's Autopilot team, discusses his journey in self-driving cars and offers insights on the industry's advancements and the future of autonomous vehicles.

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Key Insights

  • 😨 The development of self-driving cars involves addressing technological bottlenecks and economic challenges, such as improving sensors and reducing costs.
  • 🚙 Self-driving cars have the potential to revolutionize the automotive industry by offering differentiated user experiences and transforming vehicle interiors.
  • 😨 Collaboration and partnerships between self-driving car companies and automakers are crucial for broad market adoption and scaling the technology globally.
  • 👊 Self-driving technology requires constant efforts to ensure security and protect against potential malicious attacks.
  • 🥺 Coordinating self-driving vehicles and optimizing their deployment can lead to significant benefits in traffic management and infrastructure utilization.
  • 🤲 Aurora's business model focuses on getting self-driving technology to market quickly and safely by partnering with automakers and leveraging their manufacturing and distribution capabilities.


today we have sterling Anderson he's the co-founder of Aurora an exciting new self-driving car company previously he was the head of the Tesla auto pilot team that brought both the first the second generation auto pilot to life before that he did his PhD at MIT working on shared human machine control of ground vehicles the very thing I've been harp... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Aurora's business model differ from other self-driving car companies?

Aurora's business model focuses on partnerships with automakers rather than building its own vehicles. This approach allows them to leverage the automakers' expertise in manufacturing and distribution, while Aurora focuses on developing self-driving technology.

Q: How does Aurora address the potential security risks of self-driving cars?

Anderson acknowledges that security is a constant challenge in the self-driving car industry. Aurora takes steps to mitigate these risks by implementing best practices and safeguarding critical parts of the system. However, he notes that security is an ongoing effort that requires constant vigilance.

Q: What are the positive implications of self-driving cars for society?

Self-driving cars have the potential to improve safety by reducing collisions and improving traffic efficiency. They can also open up new opportunities in areas like augmented reality and location services, transforming the driving experience and offering new services to users.

Q: How does Aurora address the displacement of jobs caused by self-driving technology?

Anderson acknowledges that the displacement of jobs is a concern. He believes it is essential to find ways to transition those affected by job displacement into better work. Discussions on this topic should start early to ensure a smooth transition for those impacted.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Sterling Anderson reflects on his journey in the self-driving car industry, from his work on shared human-machine control of ground vehicles at MIT to his time leading Tesla's Autopilot team.

  • He discusses the key phases of his journey, including the development of the intelligent co-pilot system and his work at Tesla to introduce new safety and convenience features.

  • Anderson explains how he co-founded Aurora, a company focused on building a new self-driving architecture and partnering with automakers to bring the technology to market.

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