Today's Top News: Drive.ai Startup Gets $50 Million, Waymo's Driverless Trucks Spied, GM CEO on Workplace Diversity
Drive.ai (a startup founded by Stanford University graduates), Waymo, General Motors, and serial entrepreneur and author Vivek Wadhwa are featured in today's top news.
A group of recent Stanford University grads has secured $50 million in investment capital for their driverless car startup Drive.ai. The company's founder and CEO Sameep Tandon said the money will be used to pay for R&D, new hires, and international expansions, but was not more specific. Andrew Ng, a Stanford University professor who also serves as chief scientist for Baidu, joins Drive.ai's board of directors.
Jalopnik has published what it says are spy shots of a Peterbilt 579 commercial truck that is part of Waymo's commercial driverless truck test fleet. Sent by an anonymous source, the photos reveal the unsightly dome-shaped LiDAR (light detection and ranging), radar, and other sensors on the truck's exterior. As previously reported in Driverless, the transfer of self-drive technology between Waymo's self-drive car and commercial truck fleet vehicles should pose few design challenges.
Noting rapid technological advancements in self-driving and electrified vehicles, cybersecurity, and connectivity; GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said automakers' futures depend on a deep and diverse pool of talented engineers. In computer science, women and minorities make up only a fraction of working professionals, she said. In the US, for example, women only account for 18% of computer science majors and 10% of information security professionals.
We're in the midst of transforming how our customers get from point A to point B with technology like autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification and car sharing By expanding and improving access to STEM education, we're developing teachers' and students' capabilities — and it's my hope those students become graduates who are equipped to join us in the technical fields required to lead in the future of mobility.
Vivek Wadhwa, a well respected Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon's School of Engineering, writes in acolumn for PBS.org on why the tech industry can longer afford to tolerate a pervasive "bad boy" culture, epitomized by the behavior of ousted Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Reflecting the theme of his book "The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future," Wadhwa writes that technology's impact on society is too profound to ignore the harm that unethical Silicon Valley culturural norms can have on society.