Race legends join AV venture

Louise Smyth

California-based Coast Autonomous, a self-driving technology company, has recruited Allan McNish and fellow Scottish motor racing legend Dario Franchitti to join its Advisory Board. The American software and technology company will use the Scottish duo’s vast motorsport experience and exceptional driving skills to help deliver Autonomous Vehicle solutions for low-speed environments.

Dumfries-born McNish, currently the Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler Formula E Team Principal, and Bathgate’s three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Franchitti, each boast over 30 years in the highest echelons of motorsport and can also offer top-line business expertise. Coast is aiming to provide self-driving mobility solutions for low-speed environments such as university and college campuses, airports, resorts, theme parks and city centres. 

The pair will submit valuable input for Coast’s robotics and artificial intelligence algorithms, which should result in a more intelligent system with better safety and a smoother ride. Coast’s ‘secret sauce’ is software that is pedestrian-friendly combined with a low-cost sensor fusion that does not compromise on performance or safety. As it prepares to deploy its first fleets in 2019, Coast also plans to tap into the popular Scots’ many years of experience of performing at a top level of motorsports that includes working with OEMs, team building and organisation skills and ready access to auto industry suppliers and senior executives across the corporate landscape.

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