Co-founder of Scale and CEO Alex Wang joined us this week at TechCrunch Sessions: Mobility 2021 to discuss his company’s role in the autonomous driving industry and how it has evolved over the five years since its inception. Scale helps AV players large and small to establish reliable ‘ground truth’ through annotation and data management, and along the way, the standards of what this means have changed as the industry matures.

Good data is the “good bones” of autonomous driving systems

Even if two autonomous driving algorithms could be created more or less equal, their actual performance could vary significantly depending on what they consume in terms of input data. This is where Scale’s added value for the industry begins, and Wang explains why:

If you think of a traditional software system, the thing that will separate a good software system from a bad software system is the code, the quality of the code. For an AI system, what are all these autonomous vehicles or autonomous vehicles, it’s the data that really separates a stunning algorithm from a bad algorithm. And so one thing we saw is that being one of the stewards and shepherds of high quality data was going to be incredibly important to the industry, and that’s what played out. We work with many large companies in the industry, from Aurora and Nuro to Toyota and General Motors, and our work with each of them ensures that they have a really strong database, so that they can build the rest of their stacks on top of it. (Timestamp: 06:24)


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