Daphne de Jong learned to fly a plane before she could drive a car. And her job today at self-driving software maker Waymo is to make sure that very soon no one has to ever drive again.
de Jong is an aerospace engineer by training and an adventurer by heart. Having flown planes (including commercial jets) since the age 16 and climbed the world’s most dangerous mountains (she summited Mount Everest in May 2019), she understands better than most of us the consequence of risk and how to prevent it.
“It’s all about safety. It doesn’t sound very sexy, and I know that,” she said of the similarities between aviation and building self-driving vehicles.
In a recent interview with Observer, de Jong revealed the boringly rigorous process of how Waymo builds up its autonomous driving system and whether the