AI Business Podcast 29, Part Two: The week of the robo-taxi

You can find them in Shenzhen and California - but not in London

Max Smolaks

May 20, 2021


In the second part of our weekly podcast, we talk about the rapid uptake of self-driving vehicles in China, the climate impact of video streaming, and the English town of Milton Keynes, which has emerged as one of the primary hubs for autonomous vehicle tech in the UK.

AI Business · AI Business Podcast 29, Part Two: The week of the robo-taxi

All of this, and more, is discussed in What’s the News With Wodecki, a segment in which Ben talks us through the stories of the week, with the podcast team deciding whether – in hindsight – they were worthy of coverage. This is an editorial bootcamp, and there’s a timer on comments to stop Sebastian.

The stories on offer include:

  • Alibaba’s AutoX subsidiary sharing, in excruciating detail, what a trip in one of its robo-taxis is like. The company has been running the service for 100 days in Shenzhen, a city that has relaxed its regulations to become a playground for domestic autonomous vehicle developers;

  • Baidu launching the first robo-taxi service in Beijing – but in a much more limited capacity;

  • China’s partnering up with LiDAR superstar Luminar [somebody stop me] for its own autonomous vehicles;

  • iSize raising $6.3 million in Series A to develop AI-based video compression algorithms that could shrink the environmental impact (and costs) of streaming, without compromising picture quality as perceived by the human eye;

  • The tiny little robots from Starship Technologies arriving in Milton Keynes to deliver coffee.

We also cover: Star Trek TNG! Urban planning! Mango and passion fruit coolers!

Check out Part One of the podcast that aired earlier this week, where we share some thoughts on the ransomware attack against the Colonial Pipeline.

Give us a loike, Hairy Biscuits and Cheese, guv'nor*.

As always, you can find the people responsible for the circus podcast online:

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