DeepMap’s James Wu Speaks at HYSTA Summit on “Hands off the Wheel: Steering Towards Next-Gen Transportation”

DeepMap CEO and Co-Founder James Wu recently spoke at HYSTA’s U.S.-China Tech Investment Summit at the Stanford Faculty Club.

The panel, titled “Hands off the Wheel: Steering Towards Next-Gen Transportation,” was moderated by Shuonan Chen, a general partner at Agile VC. In addition to James, the panelists included: Ali Kashani representing Postmates, Louay Eldada representing Quanergy, and Hao Zheng representing PlusAI.

A key discussion topic was full-stack versus integration. In other words: can one company master all the complex elements of self-driving, or will the industry evolve into a cooperative ecosystem of companies focused on core competencies?

To this point, James believes that building a complete full-stack approach is difficult for two reasons. The first reason is that the number of high-risk technical challenges over the entire stack is substantial, and the second is the demand for large investments due to the high development cost and long development cycle. This approach results in a slower time to market and higher cost in the final AV product and/or service.

On the other hand, leveraging partnerships where different companies create and perfect different components of the self-driving stack is much more cost effective. This will make the development of self-driving solutions safer, quicker, and more affordable — a win-win for the industry. This type of divide and conquer strategy is nothing new in the auto industry.

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DeepMap’s James Wu, center, at the HYSTA US-China Tech Investment Summit, October 6, 2018, Stanford, California.

Prior to the panel, the panelists discussed practical advice they’d like to share with the audience. James’s response: “Be humble and be patient. Everything you do — every challenge and every failure — will teach you something valuable.”

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DeepMap provides HD mapping and localization solutions critical for autonomous vehicles.

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