StreetDrone to set out blueprint to accelerate Autonomous Vehicle adoption
Bringing everyday autonomous services to our cities is key to AV industry success and relevance, says CEO ahead of a series of conference presentations
In a series of conference briefings over the next month, StreetDrone, the pioneering autonomous technology company that is on a mission to make autonomous vehicles accessible and affordable, will set out the principles of a new pathway for AV commercial viability.
At the forthcoming TAAS Technology Conference and the Silverstone Technology Cluster conference, Future Focus on Smart Mobility, both on November 10 and the Connected Catapult What next for Autonomous Technology conference on December 2, StreetDrone’s CEO, Mike Potts, will set out the structural pitfalls caused by so-called moonshot ambitions for Level 5 driverless vehicles and why these goals are misallocating capital, inflating the cost of engineering resource and overstating expectations. The principles presented by StreetDrone are intended to set out a tonic to address the current skew in market conditions.
StreetDrone’s market insight is supported by its track record of providing more than 25 autonomous vehicles for use cases from automated valet parking to 5G cyber-resilience
“Some operators of course already have advanced robotaxis operating on public highways,” says StreetDrone’s CEO, Mike Potts. “But at what cost? The reality is that these projects are R&D exercises and have no hope of commercialising. While it is, of course, laudable for our sector to set stretch targets, the technical ambition needs to be in lockstep with commercial viability and servicing the interests of everyday business for whom driverless vehicles will make a significant contribution to business efficiency. We believe everyone in the industry would benefit from a focus on nearfield solutions that have direct applicability for business – and a more realisable pathway to commercial viability would ease the claims on capital and capability that are having a detrimental effect on the sector. This is the case we will be setting out at TAAS, at the Silverstone Technology Cluster event and the Connected Catapult Autonomous Technology conferences over the next month.”
Having recently completed its 25th and 26th autonomous-ready vehicle deliveries, StreetDrone’s view of the systemic issues in the sector are informed by the varied use cases and customers the business has supported to date.
The StreetDrone presentation makes the case for capping near-term AV ambitions to Level 4 to unlock the economic benefit of removing safety drivers. Even at Level 4, StreetDrone is an advocate of simple ODDs focused on sub-20mph applications to reduce the technical challenge while focusing on services, rather than products, to enhance business relevancy and commercial viability.
In addition, StreetDrone has been a pioneer in adopting more cost-effective collaborative open-source software solutions and challenging pricing models by introducing subscription into the sector.
These approaches have the potential to unlock the everyday applicability of driverless solutions in an affordable and accessible fashion. Aligned to the myriad societal trends that would benefit from autonomous solutions including pollution & congestion mitigation, the increase in e-commerce and unsustainable overhead of manned last-mile delivery and the recent addition of Covid-19 to underscore the value of contactless services, Potts will present the case for an approach that connects technical capability more squarely with commercial & social need.
Transportation-As-A-Service (TAAS) Technology Conference on November 10 and the Connected Catapult What next for Autonomous Technology on December 2 are online events and are free to register and attend. The Silverstone Technology Cluster conference, Future Focus on Smart Mobility on November 2 is free for members with a small charge payable by public attendees.