Robo-cars are coming. Whether the idea of autonomous vehicles excites or terrifies you, these technologies appear to be the future of transportation and their societal implications will be broad. While there will undoubtedly be many benefits to this ‘robo-car’ driven world, this possibility raises many important social, legal and ethical questions that may serve as barriers to wide adoption of these technologies. Join Brad Templeton, futurist, ‘robo-car’ commentator and former advisor to Google’s self-driving car program as he talks about the future of autonomous transportation. He will explore what it will mean for the future of cities, healthy living and sustainability; while also delving into the important dilemmas that arise when we consider giving up control.

Master Mind Master Class is a new alumni UBC event series, offering an unprecedented look into the minds of modern thinkers making a unique impact on the world, and the lessons they’ve learned.

This event took place on March 2, 2016.

Speaker Biography

Brad Templeton

Follow Brad Templeton on Twitter: @bradtem

Brad Templeton founded ClariNet Communications Corp., the first internet-based content company (sold to Individual Inc/Newsedge Corp.). ClariNet published an online electronic newspaper delivered for live reading on subscribers’ machines. He has been active in the internet community since 1979, participated in the building and growth of USENET from its earliest days, and in 1987 he founded and edited rec.humor.funny, the world’s most widely read computerized conference on that network, and today the world’s longest running blog. He has founded two software companies and is the author of a dozen packaged microcomputer software products.

He is a director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the leading civil rights advocacy group for cyberspace, and chaired the foundation from 2000 to 2010. He is track chair for computing and networks at Singularity University, a new multi-discliplinary school of rapidly changing technology, and was among the founding faculty. He writes and researches the future of automated transportation at Robocars.com and spent two years advising Google’s self-driving car team on strategy and future technologies. He is also on the board of the Foresight Institute (a nonprofit Nanotech think-tank) and technical advisor to delivery robot company Starship Technologies, BitTorrent, NewAer, and Quanergy. He is also a well known photographer and artist at Burning Man, and a popular speaker at international events on cars, online rights and other topics.


Select Articles and Books Available at UBC Library

Birdsall, M. (2014). Google and ITE the road ahead for self-driving cars. Ite Journal-Institute of Transportation Engineers, 84(5), 36-39. [Link]

Brombacher, A. (2014). (re)liability of Self‐driving cars. an interesting challenge. Quality and Reliability Engineering International, 30(5), 613-614. doi:10.1002/qre.1707 [Link]

Urmson, C., & Whittaker, W. (2008). Self-driving cars and the urban challenge. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 23(2), 66-68. doi:10.1109/MIS.2008.34 [Link]

Wagner, A., Ortman, S., & Maxfield, R. (2016). From the primordial soup to self-driving cars: Standards and their role in natural and technological innovation. Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society, 13(115) [Link]

Yang, J., & Coughlin, J. F. (2014). In-vehicle technology for self-driving cars: Advantages and challenges for aging drivers. International Journal of Automotive Technology, 15(2), 333-340. doi:10.1007/s12239-014-0034-6 [Link]


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