Drive.ai wants to help autonomous cars talk with the people around them
If you are walking around Mountain View, California and stumble across a car that beeps at you like R2-D2, it’s probably thanks to Carol Reiley. She’s the co-founder and president of Drive.ai, an autonomous car startup that wants to help robot cars learn how to interact with people better — and maybe even deliver a world without honking.
"My interest in robotics lies in where technology intersects with humanity," says Reiley. "How do these cars actually interact with people?"
Autonomous car development has mostly focused on the technology of self-driving cars. They address challenges like bad weather or bicyclists; companies with grander ambitions aim to change the entire model of car ownership. Drive.ai wants to solve the technological problems too. The company is using "deep learning," a method for artificial intelligence to learn behaviors on their own instead of needing to be told how to do everything, to help vehicles learn how to drive. But the most interesting part of the company is its work on the human-robot interactions. Basically, Reiley and her team want to help self-driving cars talk to the people (pedestrians, cyclists, other drivers) around them — something she believes it’s essential to public acceptance of the technology.