January 24, 2014


Robocar/taxi: Utopia or Dystopia?


Friday, 1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


“A car is often a person’s second largest capital expenditure, after a home, yet a car sits unused some 95% of the time. With the Google self-driving car, people could avoid the outlay of many thousands of dollars, or tens of thousands, on an item that mostly sits and, instead, simply pay by the mile. Driving could become Zipcar writ large (except the car comes to you). – Forbes Magazine, Jan 2013.” Topics: How it works and technical challenges. Product design: rendezvous, “Google Now” cloud/smartphone travel concierge. Transportation planning impacts. Achieving critical mass. Use cases: commuting, vacation travel, robo-Uber, robo-Zipcar, suburban robotaxi last mile, sight-impaired taco procurement.

Biographical Sketch

Steve’s project history includes: Google self-driving cars commercialization analysis, Ultra personal rapid transit (PRT: self-driving EVs at London Heathrow Airport), the US EPA’s “Transforming Office Parks into Transit Villages” study of Pleasanton, and BART’s Group Rapid Transit study. He conceived Bay Area MTC’s $33M Climate Innovations Grant Program. He has sketched last-mile PRT designs for Palo Alto, Mountain View, Cupertino, San Jose Airport, Oakland Airport, South SF, Emeryville, Alameda, and Redwood City. He holds the first patent for “smartphone instant ridesharing.” He authored 18 transportation papers.  Steve holds three master’s degrees in business, software, and transportation from Columbia, RPI, and Berkeley.

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