12 Autonomous Driving Influencers You Need to Follow

Written by
Actual Team

The pseudonymous tech journalist Robert X. Cringely recently said, “The problem isn’t with the self-driving cars, it’s with the cars that aren’t self-driving, cars that are driven by idiots like me.” His argument has many dimensions, including the continued presence of human drivers sharing the road with driverless vehicles and the attendant legal liabilities. But he also goes on to say: “Heck, we’ve had the technology pretty much whipped for the past decade.” That’s still up for heated debate – particularly from small companies you likely haven’t heard of who are breaking new ground in computer vision, deep learning and other aspects of what it takes to put a driverless car safely on the road.

We follow the autonomous driving space with on behalf of many of our clients. Here are 12 key people we listen to to help make sense of what’s happening in the space:

Sebastian Thrun

@SebastianThrun is best known for inventing Google’s autonomous car. He’s a professor at Stanford and also the founder and president of Udacity, a company that has created an online university. He’s a leading thinker in the area of driverless cars.

Genevieve Bell

@feraldata, or Genevieve Bell, has the best handle we’ve seen in a long time: she is an anthropologist, technologist and futurist all at once, as well as a professor and a Senior Intel Fellow studying the intersection of tech & culture. As if that’s not enough, she is the Director of Australia’s Autonomy, Agency and Assurance (3A.)

Alex Davies

@adavies47 covers all things transportation for Wired, with a focus on autonomous and electric vehicles — he started the beat for the magazine. There is no better reporter out there for keeping us grounded on where the reality ends and hype begins

Aicha Evans

@Aicha2Evans, CEO of robo-taxi developer Zoox, is one of the women-led founders among three dozen self-driving car companies. Oh, and she served a stint as Chief Strategy Officer at Intel.

Junko Yoshida

@junkoyoshida is the EE Times‘ international correspondent, covering the global electronics industry with a particular focus on China. Her beat has always been emerging technologies and business models covering automotive, IoT, and wireless/networking (she’s been writing for EE Times since 1990.)

Bryant Walker Smith

@BWalkerSmith is one of the leading legal minds on driverless vehicle, involved on so many levels: the US Dept of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation, the Emerging Technology Law Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and School of Engineering.

Marco Jacobs

@MarcoCJacobs is VP Marketing at Videantis, a company we met at CES 2019 that focuses on computer vision, deep learning, video/imaging, semiconductors, consumer electronics and automotive. Marco holds 7 issued patents in processor architecture and video .

Patrick Denny

@draziraphale Adj. Professor of Electronic Engineering NUIG, Senior Expert at Valeo, Physicist, HW/SW,Vision Systems, algorithms- views own Valeo Senior Expert / Senior R&D Engineer in Vision Systems and Advanced Driver AssistanceSystems working on human/AI vision systems and challenging technical issues

Yakov Shaharabani

Yakov is CEO of Adasky, an Israeli company that lays legitimate claim to designing the first far-infrared (FIR) thermal cameras explicitly for driverless cars. Its Viper platform will enable carmakers to clear fully autonomous milestones much more quickly than with conventional sensor packages.

Rudy Burger

@RudyBurger is the head of Woodside Capital Partners and an expert on M&A in computer vision and imaging autotech companies – with great insights into what’s happening across the landscape. Rudy was also the founding CEO of MIT Media Lab Europe, as the founder of five tech companies.

Robert Stead

Robert co-founded the B2B events business, Sense Media Events, which now runs the internationally renowned conference and awards series, AutoSens He is also the Chair of the IEEE Standards Association working group on Automotive System Image Quality, P2020, which launched in 2016.

And of course…

Elon Musk

@elonmusk , the visionary behind Tesla and SpaceX, has 4+ million followers, and he usually leaves us entertained and intrigued. In fact, just last month at a Tesla VIP event, he boldly predicted that the company’s autonomous system will have improved to the point where drivers will not have to pay attention to the road.

Hit us up with your thoughts and comments!

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