What Data Will Be Most Critical to the Autonomous Vehicle Landscape Moving Forward

John McNelis, Fenwick partner and lead for the firm’s autonomous transportation and shared mobility industry team, was featured in a recent Protocol article as part of its ongoing Braintrust series.

The article posed: “What data will be most critical to the autonomous vehicle landscape moving forward?” In addition to McNelis, executives at Zoox, Cruise, Waymo, Embark Trucks and SafeAI shared their insights.

McNelis replied:

“There is a wide variety of data that is critical to the AV landscape. In terms of near-term AV operation, a critical set of data comes from sensors and GPS systems. Precise vehicle location and environmental awareness continues to be critical for AV operation. Position data includes GPS location data and is often supplemented by information about the surrounding environment, e.g., the position of buildings and other structures, other vehicles, lane markers, etc., along with precise maps to pinpoint vehicle location with a few centimeters.

In terms of future monetization, location data along with personal or anonymized data such as your vehicle's destination will be a cash cow. While relaxing in your AV and watching a podcast, or using Slack, Twitter or another app, you may be the target of ads related to your location or, if you opt-in, to more personalized ads. An example may be that after instructing your AV to take you to your favorite restaurant, you may receive ads offering you a discount if you go to a different restaurant, or if you are headed to a show or sporting event, you may receive an offer to upgrade your ticket to a more expensive option. Outside the vehicle, billboards may use your information to change its advertisement.”

Protocol is a new media company from the publisher of POLITICO focused on the people, power and politics of tech.

The full article is available through Protocol.