Deploying Sustainable Autonomous Vehicles

Prashanthi Raman, Senior Director, Global Government Affairs, Cruise joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss deploying sustainable autonomous vehicles.

The conversation begins with Prashanthi discussing why she wants to make the world a better place and what she learned from her mother.

To [my mother] honor, reputation, people being able to trust you is something that you need to hold sacred. That is something that I really carry with me.

– Prashanthi Raman

With a background steeped in health care, Grayson asks Prashanthi when she thinks health care services will be available in autonomous vehicles. When health care services become available in autonomous vehicles, lives will be able to be saved. For example, when a rider experiences a cardiac event in the vehicle, the vehicle will be able to be rerouted to a hospital with the doctors on duty being notified instantly about the incoming patient.

While this is the future, Cruise is currently focused on impact. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cruise delivered 1.6 million meals and groceries to families and individuals in San Francisco.

Operating in San Francisco, the conversation naturally shifts to policy and what it takes to deploy an autonomous vehicle in the City of San Fransico. Prior to joining Cruise, Prashanthi was the Head of State and Local Government Relations at Lyft where she learned the importance of educating consumers and elected officials on new and emerging mobility technologies.

Autonomous vehicles will have a profound positive impact on society when they are deployed in meaningful numbers.

Cruise’s desire is to launch into ride-sharing in a fleet-managed approach that is more accessible and affordable to more people. We want to do so in a more sustainable way than any other AV company.

– Prashanthi Raman

When Cruise deploys in a city, they want to be part of the local community. Being based in San Fransico and the 2021 baseball playoffs underway, Grayson asks Prashanthi when the SF Giants win their next World Series title, will the parade feature Cruise vehicles? While it’s always a possibility, Giants legend Willie Mays has been for a ride so you never know what the future might hold.

What we do know that the future holds is sustainable autonomous vehicles. Sustainability is something that is core to the Cruise mission and near and dear to the team’s heart.

We actually think that real innovation is zero-emission.

– Prashanthi Raman

Wrapping up the conversation, Grayson, and Prashanthi discuss Cruise’s holistic approach to sustainability.

Follow The Road to Autonomy on Apple Podcasts

Recorded on Tuesday, September 28, 2021