Self-Driving Commentary: RightHook on Autonocast

This post belongs to a series I’m calling Self-Driving Commentary, in which I spout and ramble on whatever is rattling around in my head pertaining to self-driving cars. Enjoy!

I know I keep going on and on about Autonocast, but c’mon - it’s just that great. The latest episode is my favorite yet, and not just because of Damon Lavrinc’s and Alex Roy’s glaring absence (I kid, guys - miss ya tons!), but because it was by far the most consistently technical Autonocast episode so far (with the possible exception of Josh Hartung of Polysync’s episode).

Ed was, sadly I must say, piloting the show solo this time. Thankfully, though, he was graciously joined by the amazing Warren Ahner and Jon Mullen (love the Twitter handles, by the way) of RightHook to discuss “why simulated worlds and simulated vehicles are suddenly getting so much attention.” I don’t know if it was coincidence that this episode came so soon after the (also amazing) Atlantic article all about how Waymo trains their self-driving cars with a combination of real-world testing, closed test facilities, and simulation, and which they discuss at length in the episode, but the timing couldn’t have been better.

RightHook has been on my mythical list for some time now. I don’t recall how, exactly, I came to know of them, but they are leaders in simulation for autonomous vehicles (and not just cars, either - they even simulate most of the sensor hardware). It’s a space of the industry that I’m coming to appreciate more and more as I make my way through the Udacity Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree and I’m certainly seeing the appeal of having a product that not only has huge potential to advance the industry as a whole, but also can generate revenue out of the gate instead of being a massive loss-leader with hopes of a likewise massive payoff.

Speaking of the Nanodegree - I just got started on the FINAL PROJECT and it promises to be one hell of a ride (get it?). I’m on a team with five other students, all of whom seem to be very talented engineers from what I’ve learned thus far. I can’t wait to tell you more about it… when the time comes.

Anyway, go listen to the episode, already!