Alex Roy Announces Self-Driving Startup,
Frees Autonomy From GeoFencing & Speed Limits
AutonobahnAI to offer “ultimate Solution” for Autonomous Vehicle Safety
Willows, California, April 1st, 2017 — AutonobahnAI, developer of self-driving vehicle solutions, today announced its first product, GEOKnife, the world’s first open-source solution for hacking autonomous vehicles of any kind.
“Level 4 self-driving cars are a problem easily solved,” said CEO and founder Alex Roy, “it’s geofencing that’s the problem. Car companies can build as many walls as they want, but self-driving cars want to be free. They’re building walls and charging customers for it. We’re tearing them down for free. Unleash autonomy.”
The United States has over 30,000 preventable road deaths a year, and autonomous vehicle manufacturers are working hard to prevent them, “but not hard enough,” said Roy. “Geofencing autonomy is like withholding vaccines from the countryside. No one knows when Level 4 will truly be set free by its creators. We offer the ultimate solution for vehicle safety, bringing the safety of autonomy to the masses as quickly as possible. Literally.”
Ford, Volvo and GM have all stated that once their Level 4 self-driving products hit the market — estimates range from 2021-2025 — their autonomy will be geographically limited to college campuses and a handful of urban markets.
“Automakers already have blood on their hands,” said AutonobahnAI co-founder and General Counsel, Sasha Koenig. “Geofencing splashes blood on the fenders and wheels as well.”
“Roy really cares about safety,” said Reilly Brennan, Editor of the Future of Transportation newsletter. “AutonobahnAI sounds crazy, but it makes perfect sense, and not only in his mind.”
GEOKnife solves the problem of not only self-driving cars being fenced in geographically, but of artificially low speed limits arbitrarily imposed by manufacturers afraid of their own technology.
“Why should Tesla be allowed to decide how fast you can go on Autopilot?” said Roy. “I’ve driven a Model S cross country in 41 hours, going 90mph almost the entire way. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to take my hands off the wheel at 100? 110? In the right conditions, Autopilot works perfectly. If I’m going to break the speed limit, I’m safer with Tesla Autopilot.”
In order for AutonobahnAI to develop GEOKnife, they had to develop not only their own Level 4 self-driving car, but a system replicating both the geofencing and cybersecurity methods of multiple OEMs. Their prototype, a 2015 Infiniti QX60 named Ferdinand, successfully lapped Thunderhill’s West track on its first try at the 2nd annual SelfRacingCars.com event, all while carrying passengers including George Hotz, Polysync CEO Josh Hartung, and SelfRacingCars.com founder Joshua Schachter.
“I was proud to be an angel to AutonobahnAI,” said Schachter. “Geofencing is public enemy. Speed limits? Self-driving cars won’t need them. So why are they being imposed?”
“I could build this if I felt like it,” said Hotz, CEO of Comma.ai, AutonobahnAI’s software partner, “but was happy to help Roy build a tool complementing our upcoming Panda. We’re going to win self-driving cars, and GEOKnife is another tool in the arsenal.”
“Roy talks a big game,” says to Josh Hartung, CEO of Polysync, “but AutonobahnAI is the real deal. If George Hotz is the Donald Trump of Self-Driving, Roy is the Mike Valentine.”
Mike Valentine, founder of Cincinnati Microwave and Valentine Research, is a pioneer in radar detector development, and Roy’s hero.
“The purpose of the lap wasn’t to demonstrate Level 4,” said Roy, “it was to show how easy it is to break geofencing and software-based speed limits, both of which we simulated onboard.”
Simulation was key to GEOKnife’s development. “Testing in the real world is expensive and time-consuming,” according to Righthook.io CEO Warren Ahner, AutonobahnAI’s software partner. “The RAND Corporation estimates you need over 11 billion miles of driving to demonstrate that an autonomous car is only 20% safer than a human. A thousand test cars — driving non-stop, 365 days a year — would take 50 years to reach 11 billion miles.”
AutonobahnAI used Righthook’s Similr platform to solve that problem in hours, after which development of GEOKnife “was fairly easy,” said Roy. “While the OEM’s hope and pray Tesla fails and Waymo HQ gets hit with an earthquake, both are racking up data miles critical to get to Level 4. The only way to catch up is crowdsourcing like Tesla, or simulation, like what we’re doing.”
“We were initially put off by Roy’s reputation from the Cannonball Run records,” said Maniv’s Olaf Sakkers, “but results matter. He knows more Level 3 and 4 autonomy in the real world than most engineers working on the problem. As for marketing, he’s like George Hotz after therapy.”
“I’m Pro-Choice in the War On Driving,” said Roy. “Once GEOKnife is installed, traffic fatalities will be limited to those riding in self-driving cars at 2 or 3 times the human driving speed limit. But that should always be the passenger’s choice. Unleash autonomy.
AutonobahnAI is a the first self-driving vehicle company to offer open-source solutions delimiting native performance restrictions in third party transportation products. Please visit autonobahnAI.com.
About Alex Roy
Alex Roy, CEO of AutonobahnAI, is also Founder of /DRIVE, President of Europe By Car, Editor-at-Large for Time Inc’s, The Drive, host of Autonocast.com and /DRIVE on NBC Sports, contributor to Road & Track, Jalopnik and Combustion, and author of The Driver, set the 2007 Transcontinental “Cannonball Run” Record in a BMW M5 in 31 hours & 4 minutes, and has set multiple driving records in Europe & the USA in the EV, 3-wheeler & Semi-Autonomous Classes. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Contact: Alex Roy, firstname.lastname@example.org