The conversation begins with Vivian sharing her thoughts on when consolidation comes to the autonomous trucking industry. While consolidation is on the horizon, Waabi (which was founded in June 2021) is taking a different path to developing and scaling autonomous trucks.
Autonomy is a marathon.– Vivian Sun
Their approach to autonomy using a simulation-first approach is one that could completely change the end-to-end development process of autonomous trucks. As Waabi prepares to scale, Vivian shares some of the lessons that she learned earlier in her career and how Waabi can avoid those situations.
It is really important that we have a scalable, adaptable technology.– Vivian Sun
A simulation-first approach to autonomy is allowing Waabi to operate a leaner corporate structure with less overhead as they develop the technology. From an economic standpoint, with the Federal Reserve raising rates as well as the European Central Bank, operating an autonomous trucking with a lean overhead will become a completive advantage as credit markets tighten.
There are huge advantages of a more cost efficient way of developing self-driving technology.– Vivian Sun
The key technology enabling this approach to autonomy is Waabi World, a high fidelity driving simulator. Inside of Waabi World, weather elements such as rain, fog, wind, ice and snow can be simulated to create real-world driving scenarios.
These scenarios, combined with real-world traffic data, will help to develop a confident and safe Waabi Driver. While the Waabi Driver is being developed in simulation, professional truck drivers are playing a key role in the system — the Waabi Driver is learning from million plus miler drivers.
We want to create a new paradigm to solve autonomy.– Vivian Sun
Wrapping up the conversation, Vivian discusses Waabi’s partnership strategy and the company’s plans for commercialization.
Recorded on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.