Investors discuss how labor shortage is shaking up the construction tech stack

Construction as an industry has evolved with civilization through the ages. But today, it’s one of the few industries that have one foot firmly planted in the past, even as the other tries to step into the future. Construction’s digital transformation journey is only just beginning, and the sector offers a ton of space for innovation.

To get a clear picture of where construction tech stands today, we spoke with five active investors in the space. And the overall consensus seems to be that the pandemic was a big boost to innovation as stakeholders realized the need for the ability to observe and direct work remotely.

“Due to the pandemic, many contech workers were unable to freely visit their job sites and realized they had less visibility than they’d like into what was happening onsite. For an industry that has historically been averse to tech, feeling this pain point was a real catalyst for adoption. Across segments, we’ve seen field workers become more open to exploring digital platforms and to the ROI they can deliver to projects,” said Nikitas Koutouples, managing director at Insight Partners.

The pandemic wasn’t the only challenge to hit the construction industry. The rising cost of raw materials coupled with a major labor shortage has left the industry scrambling for solutions to bridge these gaps.

According to Sungjoon Cho, general partner at D20 Capital, the usage of technology will be critical to counterbalance labor shortages. “Software tools are needed to increase efficiency, transparency, and accountability,” he said. “Robotics are needed to automate dangerous and repetitive tasks. And creative solutions are needed to ensure construction projects have access to the right talent at the right time. Although the concept of remote work is still a novel idea in the construction industry, we believe that opening up certain jobs to remote talent will open the door to increased efficiency and a broader talent pool — as we have seen in many other industries.”

Some of the investors we spoke to see more scope in commercial construction, while others favor residential housing. All the investors, however, did agree that the sector’s biggest developments lie in automation, data collection and data analysis.

For Suzanne Fletcher, venture partner at Prime Movers Lab, automation is the obvious solution to the labor shortage issue. “Automating new home construction is going to have an enormous impact on the production housing industry. For example, Diamond Age’s robotics-as-a-Service system combines 3D printing, mechatronics, and robotics to backfill the massive labor shortage and drive construction cycle times down,” she said.

Momei Qu, managing director at PSP Growth, believes the sector will adopt more tech in the next five to ten years: “In the long run (five to ten years), there will be game-changing innovations around new materials, automation techniques, and robotics that could fundamentally change how things are built and create a better, safer environment for those in the industry, which will hopefully also help with the labor shortage. I often look out my window at construction sites and think: “Humans should not be doing that.”

Governments and legislation do have a role to play in helping modernize the construction industry as well. The Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act passed this year in the U.S. is expected to be beneficial to innovation in the industry.

But Heinrich Gröller, partner at Speedinvest, feels governments will need to get more involved to ensure that the construction industry heads in the right direction, especially in terms of environmental impact.

“Governments, not only in the U.S. but also in Germany, for example, will play a huge role,” he said. “There is a massive backlog in infrastructure investments that now need to be pushed forward, which will trigger massive investments. There is a clear tendency to make building information modeling compulsory for public construction projects. And there will be continued and growing pressure from governments to measure and minimize environmental impact and carbon footprint going forward — be it with recycling quotas or carbon emission targets. All of the above will create new tech solutions and enable many existing ones to finally take off.”

Read the full survey for more in-depth answers by these investors’ about the the opportunities and issues in construction tech. They also discuss the investments that they’re interested in making in construction tech, as well as the best way to approach them.

At the first UFO hearing in 50 years, the Pentagon says unexplained reports are way up

An unusual hearing in Congress posed unusual questions to government officials Tuesday, marking the first congressional hearing on UFOs — now called UAPs or “unidentified aerial phenomena” — in half a century.

The House Intelligence Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation held the question and answer session, hosting two Pentagon officials in a rare public discussion of one of the most controversial, conspiracy-prone subjects that intersects with the federal government.

“UAPs are unexplained; it’s true,” Indiana Rep. Andre Carson, the subcommittee’s chair, observed in his opening remarks. “But they are real. They need to be investigated, and many threats they pose need to be mitigated.”

During the hearing, U.S. Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray shared a declassified video of a reflective, unidentified sphere-shaped object that “zooms” by a pilot flying in a Navy training range, visible only for a few short frames. That clip is viewable around 46:40 in the video embedded below.

“I do not have an explanation for what this specific object is,” Bray said of the recording.

The open discussion was followed by a classified hearing in which Pentagon officials were able to discuss the technical specifics of how the U.S. military collects UAP data.

During the public session, the officials took the opportunity to throw some cold water on one popular conspiracy: that the U.S. military secretly has evidence of crashed aircraft that didn’t originate on Earth. In response to a question about mysterious wreckage from Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Bray said that the military does not have any material that “isn’t explainable, that isn’t consistent with being of terrestrial origin.”

“We have no material,” Bray said in response to a different question about unexplainable evidence. “We have detected no emanations within the U.A.P. task force that would suggest it’s anything nonterrestrial in origin.”

The Department of Defense established a dedicated task force to investigate UAPs in 2020, a milestone in recent government efforts to be more transparent on a topic it once refused to discuss outright. The task force describes its mission as an effort to “to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security.”

The Pentagon’s UAP Task Force maintains a database of reports of unexplained aerial sightings and Bray noted that it now contains 400 reports, up from 143 less than a year ago.

In the hearing, Pentagon officials and lawmakers alike made efforts to legitimize discussions of UAPs, encouraging service members who observe such phenomena to come forward. “Reports of sightings are frequent and continuing,” Bray said. “… The stigma has been reduced.”

Tuesday’s hearing provided little fodder for the most exotic, extraplanetary explanations that UFO followers love to speculate about, pushing the conversation instead into more grounded territory concerning national defense.

One possible explanation — still considered a longshot — is that some UAPs observed by U.S. service members could be hypersonic technology from American adversaries like China and Russia designed to spy on military activities. If that theory is ever confirmed, it would indicate that other nations have advanced technological capabilities that far exceed those of the U.S. military in some respects.

But, unfortunately for true believers, more mundane explanations are still in play. Those include stray weather balloons and visual distortions produced in the equipment used to record the mysterious images.

 

Facebook and Twitter still can’t contain the Buffalo shooting video

Ten people were murdered this weekend in a racist attack on a Buffalo, New York supermarket. The eighteen-year-old, white supremacist shooter livestreamed his attack on Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming platform. Even though Twitch removed the video two minutes after the violence began, it was still too late — now, gruesome footage of the terrorist attack is openly circulating on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, even after the companies have vowed to take down the video.

On Facebook, some users who flagged the video were notified that the content did not violate its rules. The company told TechCrunch that this was a mistake, adding that it has teams working around the clock to take down videos of the shooting, as well as links to the video hosted on other sites. Facebook said that it is also removing copies of the shooter’s racist screed, and content that praises him.

But when we searched a term as simple as “footage of buffalo shooting” on Facebook, one of the first results featured a 54-second screen recording of the terrorist’s footage. TechCrunch encountered the video an hour after it had been uploaded and reported it immediately. The video wasn’t taken down until three hours after posting, when it had already been viewed over a thousand times.

In theory, this shouldn’t happen. A representative for Facebook told TechCrunch that it added multiple version of the video, as well as the shooter’s racist writings, to a database of violating content, which helps the platform identify, remove and block such content. We asked Facebook about this particular incident, but they did not provide additional details.

“We’re going to continue to learn, to refine our processes, to ensure that we can detect and take down violating content more quickly in the future,” Facebook integrity VP Guy Rosen said in response to a question about why the company struggled to remove copies of the video in an unrelated call on Tuesday.

Reposts of the shooter’s stream were also easy to find on Twitter. In fact, when we typed “buffalo video” into the search bar, Twitter suggested searches like “buffalo video full video graphic,” “buffalo video leaked” and “buffalo video graphic.”

Image Credits: Twitter, screenshot by TechCrunch

We encountered multiple videos of the attack that have been circulating on Twitter for over two days. One such video had over 261,000 views when we reviewed it on Tuesday afternoon.

In April, Twitter enacted a policy that bans individual perpetrators of violent attacks from Twitter. Under this policy, the platform also reserves the right to take down multimedia related to attacks, as well as language from terrorist “manifestos.”

“We are removing videos and media related to the incident. In addition, we may remove Tweets disseminating the manifesto or other content produced by perpetrators,” a spokesperson from Twitter told TechCrunch. The company called this “hateful and discriminatory” content “harmful for society.”

Twitter also claims that some users are attempting to circumvent takedowns by uploading altered or manipulated content related to the attack.

In contrast, video footage of the weekend’s tragedy was relatively difficult to find on YouTube. Basic search terms for the Buffalo shooting video mostly brought up coverage from mainstream news outlets. With the same search terms we used on Twitter and Facebook, we were able to identify a handful of YouTube videos with thumbnails of the shooting that were actually unrelated content once clicked through. On TikTok, TechCrunch identified some posts that directed users to websites where they could watch the video, didn’t find the actual footage on the app in our searches.

Twitch, Twitter and Facebook have stated that they are working with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to limit the spread of the video. Twitch and Discord have also confirmed that they are working with government authorities that are investigating the situation. The shooter described his plans for the shooting in detail in a private Discord server prior to the attack.

According to documents reviewed by TechCrunch, the Buffalo shooter decided to broadcast his attack on Twitch because a 2019 anti-semitic shooting at Halle Synagogue remained live on Twitch for over thirty minutes before it was taken down. The shooter considered streaming to Facebook, but opted not to use the platform because he thought users needed to be logged in to watch livestreams.

Facebook has also inadvertently hosted mass shootings that evaded algorithmic detection. The same year as the Halle Synagogue shooting, 50 people were killed in an Islamophobic attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which streamed for 17 minutes. At least three perpetrators of mass shootings, including the suspect in Buffalo, have cited the livestreamed Christchurch massacre as a source of inspiration for their racist attacks.

Facebook noted the day after the Christchurch shootings that it had removed 1.5 million videos of the attack, 1.2 million of which were blocked upon upload. Of course, this begged the question of why Facebook was unable to immediately detect 300,000 of those videos, marking a 20% failure rate.

Judging by how easy it was to locate videos of the Buffalo shooting on Facebook, it seems the platform still has a long way to go.

DOJ warns that misuse of algorithmic hiring tools could violate accessibility laws

AI tools for the hiring process have become a hot category, but the Department of Justice warns that careless use of these processes could lead to violations of U.S. laws protecting equal access for people with disabilities. If your company uses algorithmic sorting, facial tracking or other high-tech methods for sorting and rating applicants, you may want to take a closer look at what they’re doing.

The department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which watches for and advises on industry trends and actions pertaining to eponymous matters, has issued guidance on how company can safely use algorithm-based tools without risking the systematic exclusion of people with disabilities.

“New technologies should not become new ways to discriminate. If employers are aware of the ways AI and other technologies can discriminate against persons with disabilities, they can take steps to prevent it,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows in the press release announcing the guidance.

The general sense of the guidance is to think hard (and solicit the opinions of affected groups) about whether these filters, tests, metrics and so on measure qualities or quantities relevant to doing the job. They offer a few examples:

  • An applicant with a visual impairment must complete a test or task with a visual component to qualify for an interview, such as a game. Unless the job has a visual component this unfairly cuts out blind applicants.
  • A chatbot screener asks questions that have been poorly phrased or designed, like whether a person can stand for several hours straight, with “no” answers disqualifying the applicant. A person in a wheelchair could certainly do many jobs that some may stand for, just from a sitting position.
  • An AI-based resume analysis service downranks an application due to a gap in employment, but that gap may be for reasons related to a disability or condition it is improper to penalize for.
  • An automated voice-based screener requires applicants to respond to questions or test problems vocally. Naturally this excludes the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as anyone with speech disorders. Unless the job involves a great deal of speech, this is improper.
  • A facial recognition algorithm evaluates someone’s emotions during a video interview. But the person is neurodivergent, or suffers from facial paralysis due to a stroke; their scores will be outliers.

This is not to say that none of these tools or methods are wrong or fundamentally discriminatory in a way that violates the law. But companies that use them must recognize their limitations and offer reasonable accommodations in case an algorithm, machine learning model or some other automated process is inappropriate for use with a given candidate.

Having accessible alternatives is part of it but also being transparent about the hiring process and declaring up front what skill will be tested and how. People with disabilities are the best judges of what their needs are and what accommodations, if any, to request.

If a company does not or cannot provide reasonable accommodations for these processes — and yes, that includes processes built and operated by third parties — it can be sued or otherwise held accountable for this failure.

As usual, the earlier this kind of thing is brought into consideration, the better; if your company hasn’t consulted with an accessibility expert on matters like recruiting, website and app access, and internal tools and policies, get to it.

Meanwhile, you can read the full guidance from the DOJ here, with a brief version aimed at workers who feel they may be discriminated against here, and for some reason there is another truncated version of the guidance here.

Congress asks Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter to archive evidence of Russian war crimes

Four U.S. representatives signed letters to the CEOs of Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter urging them to archive any content uploaded to their platforms that could be used as evidence of Russian war crimes.

As TikTok booms in popularity and surpasses 1 billion users, the rise of short-form video has offered unprecedented access to live footage from war zones — not to mention that Meta, YouTube and Twitter continue to capture our attention, too. These members of congress — Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and William Keating (D-MA) — think that social media uploads can be instrumental in holding the perpetrators of human rights violations accountable.

Graphic wartime videos are often removed from social platforms, since they can violate terms of service that prohibit violent content. But according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, which is cited in these letters to CEOs, it’s not clear what happens to these videos once they’re removed from the public-facing apps. Facebook, for example, says it keeps deleted data for at least 90 days, but Facebook told the HRW that it sometimes retains data for longer when requested by law enforcement.

“We are concerned that social media platforms [ … ] do not have adequate procedures in place to archive this content so that it can be made available to international organizations conducting investigations into allegations of war crimes and other atrocities,” the representatives’ statement reads.

In particular, the four representatives are calling on these platforms to preserve and archive potentially useful content for an extended period of time; coordinate with international human rights organizations to develop a legal, established way to share such content; increase transparency around AI-based content moderation systems and how they interface with war content; and, creating a way for users to flag content that they think might contain evidence of war crimes.

“Photos, videos and other content posted on social media have increasingly supported accountability processes, including judicial proceedings, for serious international crimes, both at the national and international level,” the HRW report explains. The HRW states that there have been at least 10 cases in Germany, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden where people involved in war crimes in Iraq and Syria have been persecuted using evidence from social media posts.

Though this evidence can aid international legal systems, these bodies will also have to be careful not to fall prey to misinformation, which may be used to facilitate a wrongful conviction. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, there have been many instances of fake videos going viral on social media, like video game footage that’s presented as though it were filmed on the ground in Ukraine.

TechCrunch has reached out to Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter for comment. We will update this post with any response.

FCC proposes funding Wi-Fi on school buses

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel has proposed that federal funding be provided to equip school buses with Wi-Fi, potentially closing the homework gap by that much more. I don’t know if any kids are going to do any work at 7:20 in the morning or right after the last bell has rung, but it certainly can’t hurt.

The proposal would allow the use of E-Rate program funds, generally set aside for school tech and connectivity costs, to be used for purchasing wireless hot spots or other methods for getting the buses connected.

“The Homework Gap is still a hard fact of life for millions of schoolchildren in urban and rural America. Wiring our school buses is a practical step we can take that is consistent with the history of the E-rate program. This commonsense change could help kids who have no broadband at home,” said Rosenworcel in a statement announcing the proposed ruling.

$35 million has already been spent on this through the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund, and the declaratory ruling (as the proposal is formally called at this point) found that the costs would more than justify the benefits.

Though it’s easy to think of scenarios like a kid uploading their homework on the bus as silly or typical of teenage procrastination, connectivity is a serious problem around the country. And some kids have pretty long bus rides! If Wi-Fi at home is cutting out, and you can’t access the school servers on mobile, what are you supposed to do, stop by the library on the way to homeroom?

Being able to polish off that essay and upload it from the bus (after a bit of feedback from their seatmate, of course), or skimming through that lecture one more time before the test, could be actually helpful.  Once they have it, they’re going to rely on it.

It makes sense these days much more than even five years ago because mobile networks and integrations for things like cars and buses are far cheaper and more standard. If they can put Wi-Fi on subway trains, or on company shuttles, we can put them on our big orange buses. And you know we might even get a little WAN party going.

SEC chair Gary Gensler takes aim at crypto exchanges for trading against their customers

U.S. regulators, already skeptical of crypto, are doubling down on their stance as the digital asset markets plunge this week. US Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler made his concerns clear in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, calling out crypto exchanges for offering multiple services that are often in conflict with one another, such as custody, market-making, and trading.

“Crypto’s got a lot of those challenges– of platforms trading ahead of their customers. In fact, they’re trading against their customers often because they’re market-marking against their customers,” Gensler said.

Traditional exchanges are required by law to keep certain functions separate to prevent them from front-running, or trading ahead of their customers’ orders. Gensler has warned about front-running in crypto before, advocating last year before the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee for rules similar to those that govern public listings on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Gensler specifically took aim at the top three largest stablecoins — Binance USD, USD Coin and Tether — saying that it is not a coincidence that they are all closely tied to crypto exchanges. Binance USD was founded by global exchange Binance, and leaked documents revealed that Tether has ties to Bitfinex. USD Coin, meanwhile, is controlled by the Cente consortium, of which publicly-traded crypto exchange Coinbase is a founding member.

“Each one of the three big ones were founded by the trading platforms to facilitate trading on those platforms and potentially avoid AML and KYC,” Gensler said, referring to anti-money-laundering and “know your customer” regulations applied to financial transactions.

The SEC revealed its plans to double the size of its Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit just last week, and Gensler’s comments come during a time of heightened scrutiny for stablecoins in particular, catalyzed in part by the rapid decline of Terra’s UST stablecoin. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also pushed for more crypto regulation in her annual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, saying it would be “highly appropriate” for stablecoins specifically to be regulated by the end of the year.

Subscribe to TechCrunch’s crypto newsletter “Chain Reaction” for news, funding updates and hot takes on the wild world of web3 — and take a listen to our companion podcast!

White House doubles down on affordable broadband with central sign-up

The last couple years have driven home the necessity of a decent broadband connection to take part in today’s work and entertainment worlds. But internet access can be expensive or slow in many places — which is why the FCC and White House are expanding efforts to lower prices and improve access.

The FCC in particular was quick to act (though due to red tape, a little slow in pulling off) in the matter of mass subsidy of broadband for people in need. By now however it has given out billions of dollars to cover the costs of improving school and home connections that would either be too slow or too expensive.

The Biden/Harris White House is touting its participation now with a new, ultra-simple sign-up process at GetInternet.gov, where you can check if you’re eligible to receive a reduced rate or upgraded service.

In brief, you qualify to have at least $30/month of your internet bill covered by the feds if you participate in practically any government assistance program (like Medicaid, subsidized lunch programs or SNAP) or if your income is at or below twice the Federal Poverty Level. It’s estimated that about 48 million households qualify in total, so don’t be shy.

The fund and subsidy itself isn’t new, and you may at some point have signed up through the FCC, which administers the Affordable Connectivity Program and others. There’s been kind of a procession of easily confused and questionably overlapping assistance programs, but don’t think too hard about it. Check if you’re eligible here and see if your broadband provider is participating, and make the request — you could be paying $30 less next month.

It’s worth noting that the definition of “affordable” and “broadband” are somewhat in flux, not to say dispute, but the Biden administration has a pretty progressive informal definition for the purposes of this and other programs:

…the Biden-Harris Administration asked participating internet service providers to either reduce prices and or raise speeds to offer ACP-eligible households a high-speed internet plan for no more than $30/month. For these purposes, the Administration views a sufficiently high-speed plan as one that offers download speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second everywhere that the provider’s infrastructure is capable of it. That’s fast enough for a typical family of four to work from home, do schoolwork, browse the web, and stream high-definition shows and movies. In addition, the Administration asked providers to offer such plans with no fees and no data caps.

100 megabits is a great benchmark for a family connection, $30 is a fair price, and having no caps (though this is far from universal) is an important ask as well — if you’ve got 3 or 4 people using streaming as their main form of entertainment and meetings, you’d be surprised how fast a terabyte gets eaten up. And with the matching $30 subsidy, the bill pretty much evaporates.

All the companies listed here went for it, and between Comcast, Frontier, Spectrum, Cox, and Verizon alone, that’s a pretty large proportion of the country already.

Daniel Ek pumps $50 million into Spotify: ‘I believe our best days are ahead’

Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek said on Friday that he’s pouring $50 million into the music streaming service, driving its stock price up by more than 3% to a high of $108.98 per share during regular trading hours. 

The momentary rise, however, is a blip on the radar for Spotify, which has taken a beating this year — in part over its recent, weaker-than-expected growth forecasts (just like plenty of other streaming and software firms).

As for the reasoning behind Ek’s purchase, the Spotify CEO wants you to know he believes. “I’ve always been vocal about my strong belief in Spotify and what we are building. So I am putting that belief into action this week by investing $50M in $SPOT. I believe our best days are ahead…,” he said, adding that he didn’t have to tell you about it, but wanted to.

Should Ek’s vote of confidence be measured by his other recent equity deals, then perhaps the CEO’s faith in Spotify is surpassed by his support for the military industrial complex. In November, Ek rattled some artists and subscribers when his investment firm, Prima Materia, put roughly $113 million (€100 million) into Helsing. While the artificial intelligence company’s website is sparse, Financial Times reported at the time that Helsing aims to “produce live maps of battlefields.” Along with the nine-figure deal, Ek joined the board of the one-year-old firm, whose customers include the British, French and German militaries.

In any event(!), it seems nobody believes in Spotify quite like Spotify itself does. In August, the streaming giant said it would spend as much as $1 billion rebuying its shares over the next several years, outshining both of Ek’s recent deals.

Partner breakout sessions will drop serious knowledge at TC Sessions: Mobility 2022

We’re less than two weeks away from kicking off TC Sessions: Mobility 2022. Our first in-person mobility event since 2019 — holy cats! — takes place on May 18-19 in San Mateo, California, followed by an online event on May 20. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with hundreds of your peers and hear about, see and test drive the latest mobility tech. Buy your pass by May 15, and you’ll save $200.

We’ve packed this multi-day summit with more than 30 presentations from mobility tech and transportation leaders, expert technologists, investors and policy makers on the main stage. Check out the complete agenda for all the great choices. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a moment to offer this piece of advice. 

Don’t miss out on our partner breakout sessions. These expert-led, topic-specific breakouts give you time to lean in, ask more questions, get more answers, discover new opportunities and connect with companies that support early-stage mobility startups. 

Here’s what Karin Maake, senior director of communications at FlashParking, told us about her breakout session experience at our last live mobility event.

“I enjoyed the big marquee speakers from companies like Uber, but it was the individual presentations where you really started to get into the meat of the conversation and see how these mobile partnerships come to life.”

We’ve got an impressive array of partners ready to drop significant knowledge for your benefit. Take a look at who’s coming and what they’ll present.

May 18

How Pony.ai navigates diverse traffic scenarios and inclement weather globally 

Brought to you by Pony.ai

At Pony.ai, we aim to deliver autonomous mobility everywhere by building safe and reliable autonomous driving technology. Since our founding in 2016 in Fremont, California, we have been pioneering autonomous mobility services that benefit global users in five cities across the U.S. and China. With 6.2 million autonomous miles driven, Pony.ai’s core autonomous driving technology enables the “virtual driver” to navigate diverse traffic scenarios and inclement weather smoothly and safely.

Delivering the holy grail: Safe, highly-automated consumer vehicles for sale 

Brought to you by Innoviz Technologies

Next year top automakers will sell luxury consumer vehicles that include safe, hands-free driving features. Lidar will take these automated driving systems to the next level, and re-establish trust with consumers who stand to benefit from these life-saving technologies. Innoviz Technologies CEO and co-founder Omer Keilaf will discuss the long road to making automotive-grade Lidar in order to help car makers like BMW achieve Level 3 automation for the first time. What’s next? The tech is ready. Now it’s time to integrate it into cars around the world and properly educate consumers so they love, not loathe, automated driving again.

Data: Your key to successful autonomous mobility

Brought to you by Appen

Appen is the Data for AI Lifecycle leader. This session will explore use cases and challenges that our clients see from data sourcing, data preparation and model evaluation by humans. Our experts will discuss and demo the technologies and processes that were used to enable success for both in-cabin experiences and out-of-car data with ADAS systems and autonomous vehicles.

A new sensing paradigm: How GPR uses subterranean maps to enable automated driving in any condition

Brought to you by GPR

Automakers and AV companies use GPR’s subterranean mapping and localization platform to deliver a safe automated driving experience without relying on clear lane markings, cooperative weather and lighting, or stable visual landmarks. GPR is expanding where and when consumer vehicles with automated features and AVs can operate, opening new markets and bringing a level of autonomy that can earn the public’s trust. GPR CEO Tarik Bolat will detail how GPR’s product works, how automakers and AV companies are using it today and what it means for the future of high-volume passenger vehicle autonomy, robotaxis and automated freight.

May 19

Breaking the luxury spell: A journey to commercializing safe autonomy for all

Brought to you by Cepton

Dr. Jun Pei founded Cepton in 2016 with the vision of enabling safe, autonomous transportation for everyone. Hands-free, driveway to driveway — lidar promises to make this vision a reality, but only through scale. Focused on making safety the standard for all levels of autonomy, Cepton is dedicated to commercializing lidar for every consumer vehicle, not just the luxury class. By supporting General Motors’ Ultra Cruise program, Cepton is aimed at bringing all the benefits of lidar technology to every American household in less than two years. We’ll hear from Dr. Pei on Cepton’s journey to the industry’s largest ADAS lidar series production award, and what it means for the future of mobility. We’ll also hear from Dr. Pei on lidar’s unique capabilities of adding certainty to perception, key considerations behind scaling lidar for everyday passenger cars and the timeless principles underlying Cepton’s elegant invention.

Advancing the future of transportation infrastructure

Brought to you by Michigan Economic Development Corporation

The future of mobility starts with the next generation of transportation solutions and the infrastructure that keeps them running safely and efficiently. Attendees will hear from some of the most innovative names about opportunities that await when the traditional auto industry collides with high-tech innovations to revolutionize the way we think about our roads. The session will illustrate the need for future-proofing our roads and how a connected and automated vehicle corridor in Michigan is paving the way for a nationwide deployment of tech-enabled roadways. The discussion will feature: Trevor Pawl, State of Michigan Chief Mobility Officer and Shelby Winkler, Senior Vice President of Programs and Operations at Cavnue.

TC Sessions: Mobility 2022 takes place in person on May 18-19 in San Mateo, California, followed by an online event on May 20. Buy your pass before May 15, and you’ll save $200. Now, get ready to connect with the influential people who can help you drive your business forward.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Mobility 2022? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.