Exclusive interview with Dr. Steve Eglash

Ahead of his keynote presentation at IS Auto Americas 2016, Dr. Steve Eglash, Executive Director of Stanford Al Lab-Toyota Center for Artificial Intelligence Research sat down with Smithers Apex for an exclusive Q&A around the autonomous vehicles "tipping point", the partnership between Stanford University and Toyota and what he sees as the most important challenges that need addressed within the image sensor community. 

Smithers Apex: Can you tell us a bit about your unique background in both the sensor and the automotive sectors?

Dr. Steve Eglash: My technical background is in semiconductors and opto-electronics devices.  I now work on autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and data science.  I’m trying to combine these backgrounds to focus on the junction of technology, business, and the consumer.

Smithers Apex: Can you tell us a bit more about the Toyota/Stanford Labs and the sort of projects you work on?

Dr. Steve Eglash: University-industry partnerships are an important part of the innovation process.  Toyota’s vision is for intelligent vehicles that improve safety, accessibility, efficiency, and convenience.  The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab and Toyota have established this new research center to work on the future of human interactions with intelligent vehicles and robots with a focus on human-centric and contextual interactions.  The research projects are open ended, faculty directed, and executed by grad students and postdocs.

Smithers Apex: Is there a ‘tipping point’ on the horizon for autonomous vehicles?

Dr. Steve Eglash:The capabilities of autonomous vehicles will expand continuously in a gradual and evolutionary fashion.  The penetration of these technologies will increase rapidly in a disruptive and revolutionary manner.

Smithers Apex: What is the most important challenge for the image sensor community to address to achieve more implementation with OEMs?

Dr. Steve Eglash:The image sensor community is faced with massive challenges and huge opportunities.  The capabilities of sensors are changing rapidly and today’s sensors will quickly be superseded.  The cost of sensors—even advanced sensor technologies—will fall very quickly as volumes increase.  Sensor manufacturers will be pressured to provide forward pricing, requiring them to bet on unproven learning curve cost reductions.  Image sensors will continue to be important but new sensor technologies, sensor fusion, and hardware-versus-software tradeoffs will complicate strategic planning.

Smithers Apex: What are you most looking forward to about the conference?

Dr. Steve Eglash: Image sensors are a critically important part of the complete artificial intelligence loop from sensing to perception, decision making, and control.  The Image Sensors Auto Americas Conference is hugely important because it brings together thought leaders, developers, and users representing the entire supply chain.

Register today and hear more insights from Dr. Eglash during his presentation,  The Present and Future of Sensors for Intelligent Vehicles.