May 9, 2014


Exploring Lower Carbon Futures for the Automobile in the USA with ATEAM


1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


What would happen if battery prices drop by a factor of five in five years, as called for by then Secretary of Energy Steven Chu? How might learning rates for advanced biofuels or batteries affect the US vehicle fleet?  What would be the effect of a sudden spike in oil prices, or US adoption of a fuel or carbon tax?  What if Americans continue their shift to smaller vehicles and less driving? I will show how we can explore answers to these questions using the Analytica Transportation Energy Assessment Model. ATEAM is an agile decision support model designed to support rapid interactive exploration of policy scenarios. It models the light-duty and heavy-duty vehicle fleets in the US using a wide variety of fuels and technologies. It projects the effects of fuel and electricity costs, fuel infrastructure, and consumer preferences. It helps users explore the effects of a variety of assumptions and uncertainties about technology, economics, and environmental impacts. I will also discuss how this kind of agile decision support can be used by multiple stakeholders to illuminate areas of agreement and controversy, by developing a deeper insight into key aspects of a complex dynamic system.

Biographical Sketch

Max is the Chief Executive Officer of Lumina Decision Systems, which provides decision software and decision consulting to business and government, with a focus on energy, environment, and economics. He was the lead designer of Lumina’s flagship product, Analytica, about which PC Week said “Everything that’s wrong with the common spreadsheet is fixed in Analytica”. He has coauthored three books, including, with Professor Granger Morgan, Uncertainty: A Guide to dealing with Uncertainty in Policy and Risk Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 1990). He was the Vice President for Decision Technology of Ask Jeeves (now He was the founding President for the Association for Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence. Max was an Associate Professor in the Departments of Engineering and Public Policy in Carnegie Mellon, where is now Adjunct Professor. He has a BA in Natural Sciences (physics and statistics) from Cambridge University, Master of Design from the Royal College of Art, London, and a PhD in from Carnegie Mellon University. He has published over sixty peer-reviewed articles in energy and environmental policy, risk and decision analysis, artificial intelligence, and cognitive psychology.

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