Rivian employs former Waymo exec to advance its autonomy and AI efforts

Former Waymo executive James Philbin has assumed a newly created role at Rivian. Philbin will be in charge of the EV startup’s interest in vehicle autonomous driving

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While at Waymo, Philbin was the director of software engineering, spending two years in the position. He was formerly at Amazon’s subsidiary Zoox, which also focuses on autonomous driving.

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe’s comment reflects Rivian’s new position on self-driving. He said, “As we look at our future roadmap and the integral role of AI/ML, James’ arrival couldn’t come at a more impactful time.” (via Tech Crunch)

Scaringe also commented on autonomous driving at TechCrunch Disrupt. He expects Level 2 and Level 3 systems to help with many driving tasks, even though human attention would still be required.

According to the CEO, Rivian would have to add new sensing capabilities to its EVs and achieve Level 4 autonomy.

Meanwhile, Scaringe said Rivian would not only use self-driving to attract drivers but also to make the automobile safer. But it has to deal with a recall of over 13,000 vehicles over steering control issues first.

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