When Kyle Vogt graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he had unstoppable ambition, however, nobody could’ve predicted to what magnitude. Imagine slipping into a vehicle and activating an ‘autopilot’ type of device that chauffeurs you to your destination; A device that has razor sharp reaction times that far surpass those of humans, therefore avoiding possible car accidents. In the meantime, you check your email, sip your coffee and make a few phone calls.
Photo Credits: LinkedIn Profile
Kyle Vogt is a technological genius who has unprecedented experience in programming and electrical engineering. Over the past decade, he’s contributed to bringing products to the market with billion dollar companies such as Twitch, Justin.tv and Socialcam, to name only a few.
Why Kyle Vogt is the Self-Driving Car Genius
His latest and greatest project is as CEO of Cruise Automation. Cruise is in line to be the very first company in America to sell self-driving car technology. Currently in testing, their product, the Cruise RP1, is a highway autopilot device that controls your steering, throttle and braking to keep your car in its lane, ensuring it’s at a safe distance from surrounding cars.
It’s estimated to sell at approximately $10,000. The company is located in San Francisco, California and Kyle Vogt, with the help of his 10 employees, is quickly becoming known as the ‘self-driving car genius.’
Although for now, the device can only be installed on Audi A4 and S4 vehicles, the founder’s main goal is to make the technology compatible with many car brands. In developing the concept, the purpose was to bring self-driving cars into the mainstream economy sooner and at an affordable cost.
For now, Vogt and his staff are testing the device on California highways 101 and 280 in the Bay Area. They go hands-free anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes in an effort to obtain and record data to make it safe enough so that the product can drive without the driver having to pay attention. Pre-orders for the device began being taken in June of 2013. The response was so high that they’ve posted a waiting list on their main site.
Photo Credits: getcruise.com
Precision Steering – Motors mounted near the steering column make gentle corrections to keep you in your lane.
Advanced Car and Lane Tracking – Sensors to monitor lane markers/vehicles to keep you safe.
Adaptive Speed Control – RADAR tracking system to monitor nearby vehicles and keep a safe following distance.
Collision Avoidance – Automatic brake or even coming to a halt if you encounter traffic or a stopped vehicle.
Mobile App – Monitor your surroundings, speed and keep track of the lane markers from a mobile phone.
The company was founded in November 2013, so it’s a brand new startup with huge ambitions. According to this Forbes article, Vogt is a serial entrepreneur, but believes his ‘true calling’ is the development of this self-driving device. He’s been infatuated with self-driving cars since he was very young. The article also states that part of his drive comes from a statistic he came across stating that 33,000 Americans die in highway accidents per year, with 90% of them being because of human error.
Although he has some major competitors (Google, Tesla, BMW) that will quickly come from the shadows, Kyle Vogt and his knowledge, developments and technology already have impacted this industry and set very high standards. Imagine what the future holds.