Carbon Motors Interview

Stacey Stephens of Carbon Motors tells us how their Autonomous Surveillance Vehicle is going to change the face of public safety.

Transcript

Marcus
So tell us your name and the name of the company and what you guys are doing here.
Stacey
My name’s Stacey Stephens and I’m Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Carbon Motors Corporation.
Marcus
Okay.
Stacey
Carbon Motors Corporation is a company focused solely on the law enforcement market. We have a portfolio of vehicles to address the four and a half million vehicles being used by law enforcement globally. Today, we’re actually announcing the CT-7, which is the debut of this particular automobile. It’s a fully autonomous unmanned vehicle for patrolling schools, high value assets, airports and seaports.
Marcus
Is it a drone basically?
Stacey
A drone with wheels. That’s it exactly, a great comparison.
Marcus
And so what is this behind us here?
Stacey
Behind us? This is our long-term strategy. So in the US and throughout the world they use retail passenger vehicles with aftermarket equipment added to them, what we affectionately call “Mr. Potato-Heading” the car to make it work.
Marcus
How old is the company?
Stacey
The company was founded in 2003 and it was founded to address the entire law enforcement market, so a lot of research has gone into developing our partners, suppliers, building the team out and then doing the construction of this vehicle and then also this vehicle you see behind you.
Marcus
How long have you been with the company?
Stacey
I’m one of the co-founders of the company.
Marcus
Are you?
Stacey
Yes.
Marcus
And what’s your background?
Stacey
Former law enforcement, I was a Dallas area police officer first and now I’m the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the company.
Marcus
Okay. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this startup business?
Stacey
Oh man. I guess I might be back out on the streets patrolling. But, I think since we started this I’ve obviously been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, so I’d find some other startup to go to and participate.
Marcus
Yeah?
Stacey
Yeah. It’s a ton of fun. Ton of fun.
Marcus
That’s good. That’s great. What does one of these—what is your, sort of a drone, going to sell for?
Stacey
Well, we’re not selling the vehicle, we’re actually selling the service. So, if you can imagine, I, as a parent, I have three kids and I want to be able to protect them in the schools. And, that’s a big thing right now. So, how do I do that? If I had this at a school and it was constantly going around patrolling, I would feel much better about the safety of my kids and I thousands of other parents would be willing to pay a very small amount of money per month to get that safety and security for my kids. And so that’s what we are doing, selling it as a service.
Marcus
So does this have like a guy with a remote control unit sitting in a tower booth in it, or is it...
Stacey
It does not.
Marcus
It’s fully autonomous? So is it like a Rumba? It knows where to go around the school grounds?
Stacey
Exactly. You give it a map; it has GPS on-board; you can see the laser detection devices on top for looking for obstacles and the like. It will drive around, it knows where it is, it’s constantly recording through the audio and video surveillance side of it and constantly running it through the different technologies, radiation, chemical, biological sensors, gunshot location devices, facial recognition, license plate recognition and then the surveillance cameras.
Marcus
So let’s say it senses a gunshot; what does it do?
Stacey
So it senses a gunshot; you immediately have a triangulation of where that gunshot comes from; it then sends that information to the dispatcher and officers in the area. So, now they can converge on the area and start looking for where that was.
Marcus
So this is not necessarily—the police haven’t purchased it, right? But it’s sort of in conjunction with the police department?
Stacey
Right so...
Marcus
But it’s a private service.
Stacey
Right. So it’s a service, but the police will take possession of it because they’re the ones that have to communicate with it.
Marcus
I see, but they have to put it in their budget?
Stacey
Exactly. So, tremendously helpful, because you are getting technology put into the hands of law enforcement, improving their ways to police our streets, but you’re not having to combat the budget problems that most cities counties and states are having nowadays.
Marcus
Seems like your timing, especially in the last 12 months, right, with some of the terrible tragedies that have happened, your timing is just perfect.
Stacey
Yeah. It’s unfortunate how things have played out, but it is also a reality that that “stuff,” unfortunate events, have been happening for ages.
Marcus
Yeah.
Stacey
We now have the technology to go in and prevent those things from happening or at least, better prevent them from happening and we’re going to take advantage of that and get this vehicle on the road and start protecting the schools, high value assets, airports and seaports better.
Marcus
When do you expect to have the first ones rolled out?
Stacey
2013 we’ll be rolling them out, yes, sir.
Marcus
This year, huh?
Stacey
Yes.
Marcus
Well, congratulations and good luck.
Stacey
Thank you very much.