Rivian hires former Waymo exec for new autonomy, AI role • TechCrunch


I have hired Rivian Former CEO of Waymo James Philbin to lead autonomy and artificial intelligence at the automaker, a new role signaling the company’s interest in automated driving technology.

Philbin served as Waymo’s Director of Software Engineering for two years. Prior to that, Philbin worked for five years at Amazon’s self-driving company Zoox, where he led computer vision and perception.

“As we look at the future roadmap and integrated role of AI/ML, James’ arrival could not have come at a more impactful time,” founder and CEO Rivian Scaringe wrote in a LinkedIn post. Mail.

Dread repeated this point Wednesday while on stage at TechCrunch disabled. Scaringe said he expects Tier 2 and Tier 3 systems that handle many driving tasks while still requiring a human driver to take over if necessary, and will improve over time and grow faster than heavy Tier 4 systems that are designed to handle all devices. . from driving under certain conditions.

“I think what we’ve seen happen with hardware heavy systems is that it requires a lot of capital and the roadmap is much longer than anticipated,” Scaringe said.

Companies such as Aurora, Argo AI, Cruise, Waymo, and Zoox have spent billions developing self-driving ride-and-delivery vehicles, but they have yet to be commercialized on a large scale.

Meanwhile, “hardware-restricted” vehicles, or vehicles with fewer sensors and lower levels of autonomy, are present in hundreds of thousands of consumer and commercial vehicles today.

“So there is this great learning that you get from the deployed fleet. And even though there are less hardware, the role that AI and machine learning (machine learning) can play in camera training, and therefore, your planning algorithms are really very powerful,” he said. Scaring. “So our vision as a company is really a more hardware-constrained system that can be applied across a lot of vehicles with millions and millions of miles, a platform that will have better potential in the long run.”

Over time, Scaringe said Rivian will add new sensing modalities to its vehicles. He added that as chipmakers increase computing capacity, the automaker could expand to Level 4 autonomy.

Improving Rivian’s freelance jobs is not just a move to attract customers who are looking for their next alternative Tesla Autopilot. Scaringe said Rivian’s insurance products are already motivating the use of Driver+, Rivian’s brand of advanced driver assistance system.

“The reason for that is because he’s so much better than the best human being,” Scaringe said. “The car won’t be checking its phone for a text, and it won’t be distracted by something outside the window. So the safety aspect of moving to Level 2, Level 3 systems that purposely push towards more and more of the time the car itself is driving is helpful and real.”

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