Self-Driving Car Company Moves Into the Fast Lane With PagerDuty

Size: 1,001 - 5,000 Employees

Industry: Automotive

Location: United States

Customer Since: 2017

Key Integrations:

AWS CloudWatch

Disrupting the automotive industry, this start-up is building one of the world’s most advanced self-driving electric vehicles. It’s manufacturing at scale, building all-electric, zero-emission, self-driving vehicles that are redefining time in transit.

Since the organization is developing groundbreaking technology, its digital infrastructure is complex and constantly evolving. “In our business, we utilize a mix of digital systems hosted in different environments,” explained the Engineering Manager. “We were beginning to rigorously test our cars in the real world, and it was critical that we could monitor everything in our environment to ensure we could react quickly to any incidents.”

Alert Noise and Lack of Integration Limited Incident Response

Keeping track of digital services was a complicated and time-consuming process for the engineering team. Not all systems were automatically compatible and sometimes required custom-written modules to allow them to interact properly.

The team also experienced high levels of alert noise around the clock. Systems sent multiple notifications for the same incident, without distinguishing between high- and low-urgency, making it difficult for them to prioritize incidents.

“When you spend so much time on incident response, it can begin to feel like a full-time job. We needed a digital operations platform that not only brought all our services together, but enabled them to talk to each other regardless of where they were hosted,” said the Engineering Manager. “We were also planning to migrate services from AWS to different cloud platforms, so it was important that any solution we selected was compatible with the platforms we wanted to adopt.”

PagerDuty Enables Effective Digital Operations

The self-driving startup adopted PagerDuty’s digital operations management platform for its comprehensive response functionality and ecosystem of over 600 integrations. Using PagerDuty, the organization successfully completed its cloud migration without any disruption to services.

PagerDuty provides an intuitive status dashboard that dynamically updates teams with a shared view of system health to improve awareness of operational issues in real time. “Whether it’s AWS CloudWatch or a different integration, getting effective and streamlined information into PagerDuty so that we know when there’s a potential issue with the service has been invaluable,” shared the Engineering Manager. “PagerDuty’s compatibility—specifically with integrations like Slack and Jira—means people outside of the engineering department, such as vehicle testers, can respond to issues raised by PagerDuty using their interface of choice.”

Implementing PagerDuty also enables the team to streamline incident notifications and reduce alert noise. The platform’s machine learning algorithms helped to reduce the number of false positive alerts. For example, if a Docker container disappears, PagerDuty will wait to check if a replacement spins up before sending out an alert.

“PagerDuty gives us a smarter way to manage incidents and reduce alert fatigue,” explained the Engineering Manager. “If something breaks at 3 a.m., it might not need an immediate fix. With PagerDuty, we set low-urgency notifications that come via email outside of business hours, so people can sleep through the night for minor issues that can wait.”

Using PagerDuty Outside of Engineering

Beyond the engineering team, this self-driving startup also uses PagerDuty Live Call Routing to handle vehicle accident reports. If one of the company’s vehicles is involved in a traffic accident, law enforcement officers can call a toll-free number and reach the organization’s on-call staff immediately. Inbound calls get routed via the same escalation policies used for critical applications and services, so anyone can immediately reach the right responder.

In addition, the legal team uses PagerDuty for their own workflows. The platform’s advanced permissions settings enables the team to keep their services, incidents, escalation policies, and on-call schedules private and separate from other teams that use PagerDuty internally. “We use PagerDuty for pretty much everything,” explained the Engineering Manager. PagerDuty’s extensive and robust functionality continually helps the automotive company improve how it resolves incidents.

Benefits of PagerDuty

Since implementing PagerDuty, the self-driving automotive company has gained greater control over incident response processes and seen several benefits, including:

• Increased efficiency by channeling all services and dashboards into one intuitive platform
• 50% reduction in alert volume
• 30% reduction in MTTA/MTTR
• Increased metrics tracking and the ability to gain insights into service performance

“PagerDuty gives us the functionality and flexibility needed to reduce toil, decrease alert fatigue, and improve collaboration between teams,” said the Engineering Manager. “PagerDuty is the most comprehensive digital operations management platform on the market— nothing else comes close.”

Using PagerDuty to Increase Business-Wide Collaboration

As the company continues to grow and evolve, PagerDuty will play an even greater role in managing the organization’s increasingly complex digital environment. PagerDuty’s flexibility and functionality have the potential to increase collaboration and efficiency across the business, and its intuitive interface has appealed to teams outside of engineering. As other internal teams expand their use of services such as Slack and Jira, they are evaluating integrating them more tightly within PagerDuty. “PagerDuty’s flexibility allows everyone to work in a way that suits them best,” the engineering manager explained. “In fact, the pandemic has prompted us to explore even more of PagerDuty’s features, and we’re always finding new ways to work smarter and more efficiently.”

To learn how PagerDuty can help your team make things simple and transform operations in a digital-first world, contact your account manager and try a 14-day free trial today.