Several people have emailed me asking why—if the No Parking Podcast is supposed to be about autonomous vehicles—we occasionally have guests from outside the transportation sector. It’s because there are already great podcasts focused on autonomous technology, but there aren’t any great podcasts realistically talking about self-driving cars in the context of the real world.
One can’t see the autonomous forest just by looking at the technological trees.
If elevators were invented today, the enthusiast audience would want to talk about the mechanics and user interface. But the big elevator story would be about how we could now construct buildings more than 10 stories tall, and eventually 20, even 50 or more. We would talk about how the most valuable apartments would move to the highest floors, and more people could live at lower cost in urban centers, and new business would spring up around them.
The big story of elevators, like the story of electricity, aviation, steam engines and the wheel, is the story of their consequences, the opportunities they created, and the lessons learned.How can the vane of history guide autonomous technologies away from potential pitfalls and toward doing the most good?That big story of autonomy is what No Parking is all about. And like the story of planes, trains and automobiles, autonomy is a lot bigger than any one technology, or even the sum of technologies required to enable it. The story of autonomy is about the people who will use it.
That’s why we invited Jake Millar, a 24-year-old entrepreneur and skydiver who sold his first company at 19, to join us. Millar had unique insights into two essential pieces of the unfolding story of autonomous vehicles: trust, without which no one would ever have stepped into an elevator, and entrepreneurship, without which no one would ever have started a company.
As a frequent skydiver, Millar knows a lot about trust, especially since his own father was killed in a small plane crash. As an entrepreneur who has conducted 500+ interviews of the world’s most successful leaders on his new business-to-business content platform, Unfiltered.tv, Millar has heard what it takes to build businesses that scale globally.
Behind the word “scale” is the complex global array of engineers, regulators, investors, manufacturers, skilled workers, and go-to-market partners that my co-host Bryan Salesky thinks about every day. It’ll take all of them working in tandem to realize the potential of AV technology—while learning the lessons from the past.