Our Aurora Voices series celebrates the people and teams whose unique experiences, backgrounds, and voices bring Aurora’s mission to life.
A vehicle powered by the Aurora Driver will be able to safely navigate the world without a human in the driver’s seat, but what happens when our driverless vehicles interact with their human counterparts, like law enforcement or first responders? In order to launch our autonomous trucking service, Aurora Horizon, it’s not only essential that Aurora Driver-powered vehicles can safely react and respond to emergency vehicles on the road, we also need to ensure that law enforcement understands how to safely interact with self-driving vehicles.
With more than two decades of police experience at municipal and state agencies like the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Department of Transportation, Gary helps define how the Aurora Driver will safely and responsibly interact with officers on the road. Read on to see how he thinks about the next phase of law enforcement in the new age of transportation.
Tell us about your role at Aurora.
I’m a liaison between Aurora and the law enforcement community. I work with local, county, and state law enforcement officials and regulators to introduce them to self-driving technology and establish a way for us to work together as autonomous vehicles (AVs) become more prevalent on our roads. In any given week, I’m meeting with officers to discuss the impact of AVs, attending law enforcement conferences, and meeting with road safety groups and organizations to establish standards for this emerging industry.
What is the path that led you to Aurora? Why were you inspired to work with autonomous vehicles and why Aurora?
I was a law enforcement officer for more than 25 years. In that time, I served a variety of functions — I was a patrol officer, a field training officer, and a motorcycle officer, and I spent over 10 years working on fatal accidents. I’ve seen how human error can result in tragedy, and I’m here at Aurora to help make our roads safer today and for the generations to come.