Despite Waymo woes, Pronto’s Levandowski feeling embraced by trucking industry

Quimby Mug Bayou Florida
Updated Mar 6, 2019

Anthony Levandowski, who early last year settled a highly publicized lawsuit with former employer Waymo, is focusing on the road ahead with a new business dubbed Pronto which he recently founded with his longtime friend and business partner Ognen Stojanovski.

While allegations of intellectual property theft brought on some tough headlines for Levandowski, he was keen on plowing ahead and developing a new Class 8 Level II autonomous system. Stojanovski, who had already worked with Levandowski in achieving remarkable feats in vehicle autonomy, said the trucking industry is happy to see them working together again despite the negative press Levandowski faced in the past.

“Some of the headlines that are more so Silicon Valley headlines, they don’t extend so much into trucking and people who know us are excited that we’re back and not just the two of us, but other members of our team as well,” said Stojanovski. “It’s been an overwhelmingly positive reception.”

In part 2 of our interview (posted below) Levandowski and Stojanovski talk more about their reemergence into self-driving truck technology with their Level II system CoPilot which they say is backed by plenty of pent-up demand.

Our conversation starts with insurance companies and their outlook on autonomous systems. Next, comes an interesting discussion on self-driving tech in electric powertrains. Platooning, driver fatigue, CoPilot security and availability are also addressed.

CoPilot does not rely on lidar but instead uses seven cameras (six facing outward and one on the driver) to provide acceleration, braking and steering features similar to a suite of autonomous safety technologies found on a passenger car.

Pilot tests of CoPilot are already underway.