In your opinion, what is going to be the biggest challenge and opportunity for self-driving trucks?
I see our biggest challenge as our biggest opportunity in that as we develop our technology, we have to be proactive in how we tell the story about the future. It’s our responsibility to not only make the safest technology possible, but to educate truck drivers and the public about the possibilities self-driving will generate. Automation is going to breed a new generation of truck drivers because they’ll be able to up-level their skills. The dream for most of the drivers I’ve met is to go home every night to their loved ones. If we’re able to train and give these folks new jobs in monitoring networks and teleassist, they’ll have local jobs and can pursue a normal and healthy life.
Why are you so passionate about developing this technology?
What we’re creating will help humanity in so many ways, regardless of race, culture, and gender. More importantly, if we don’t see this through, someone else will. And, from what I’ve seen, Aurora has the safest approach in the industry. I believe that when you generate positive energy, you create a thousand new possibilities. At Aurora, we’re putting our positive energy into autonomous technology to save lives, address the truck driver shortage, move goods quickly and safely to people, reduce inefficiencies for fleets and shippers, and create new possibilities for a class of marginalized workers. I can’t imagine anything more equitable to a civilization where benefits can be enjoyed ubiquitously.
What is the best thing about working at Aurora?
Aurora’s transparency at the leadership level is impressive. I also appreciate our values, vision, and the support we have from our investors to do this right. This is a long game so it helps that Aurora is a very mission-driven company and everyone I’ve crossed paths with so far is committed to the mission. We also prioritize safety (it’s part of our mission), which is huge. I’ve seen other companies pursue “hacking” strategies, and they tend to snowball and do not pay off. There’s also this feeling that we’re a legitimate player in this space, but we’re nimble and flexible enough where people, even me, can contribute and make a big difference.
When you’re not at the forefront of making self-driving trucks a reality, I understand that you’re a certified Holistic Life-Health Coach. Can you tell us why you decided to pursue this lifestyle?
I decided to become a certified holistic life-health coach because it presented a path toward a holistic approach in how I think, feel, and act. Life comes with a lot of stress and challenges, especially in logistics and trucking, and having this mentality has enabled me to feel grounded and connected throughout my day. Another reason why I like Aurora so much is that we try to do things right the first time. This approach resonates with my beliefs around a sustainable and authentic wellbeing and lifestyle that I’ve created for myself and that I seek to teach to others who are so inclined.