– Good evening. I’m Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore,
dean of the Honors College and it’s my pleasure to have
you join us this evening. I wanna make sure I
don’t forget to introduce a couple of people, I’m
looking around the room. Stephanie Cepak is in the back there. She is the Honors College
communications manager and all things Sharper
Focus/Wider Lens extraordinaire, my partner in education over
at the far side, John Beck who comes up with all the great topics and recruits our panelists. Claire Whismur in the back. She is a communications
intern in the Honors College and also wanna thank
the alumni association and the audience we have
joining us through livestream. So I also gonna ask if
you can be attentive to your cellphones. I realize that you may need
them for a variety of reasons. We are also streaming live
and so just be attentive to what that might mean. We are proud to sponsor
Sharper Focus/Wider Lens because it gives us an opportunity to highlight the talent here on campus, to let the local community and students and faculty and staff exchange
ideas about big topics. We never answer all the questions. We actually come up with more and the intent is that the
dialogue will hopefully continue. On tonight, we will be
talking about all about auto. And I say we, I’m gonna exclude
myself in that conversation. I do mean the panelists. We have Lisa Fine, a professor
in the Department of History at the very end of the table. She has authored two books. The Souls of the Skyscraper: Female Clerical Workers
in Chicago, 1870-1930 and Story Of Reo Joe:
Work, Kin, And Community in Autotown, USA. Her research interests
include 20th century US, gender and women’s history and labor and working class history. She earned her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To her immediate left is Tamara Reid Bush, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her focus is biomechanics and applying engineering techniques and principles to the human body. In 2017, she was named a fellow of the American Society
of Mechanical Engineers. That deserves a round of applause. (attendees applauding) Ahe is the founding director of the MSU Biomechanical Design Research Laboratory where she and her students
apply engineering techniques to the principles of the human body. She earned her doctorate from
Michigan State University. David Ferguson, to her immediate left, is an associate professor in
the Department of Kinesiology. One of his research
interests include a focus on the physiological stress placed on automotive race car
drivers and pit crews. He has worked in racing for over 10 years with the top teams in NASCAR,
IndyCar, Formula One and IMSA. He earned his doctorate from Texas A&M. Immediately to Davis left is Hayder Radha, a professor in the
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a director of MSU’s Connected and Autonomous
Networked Vehicles for Active Safety or CANVAS. Prior to teaching at MSU,
he was a research fellow and consulting scientists
at Philips Research. He was also a distinguished
member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories. He earned his doctorate
from Columbia University. And to my immediate right is Mark Wilson, a professor and program director of Urban & Regional Planning in the school of Planning,
Design and Construction. His research interests include the social, economic and political
implications of technical change including the internet
and autonomous vehicles with an emphasis on planning strategies and urban implications. His current projects include planning for industrial parks in
Africa and the Middle East, mega event planning for
World’s Fairs and Olympics, innovation and information
technology access in Michigan and the the planning of knowledge
and innovation clusters. He earned his doctorate from
the University of Pennsylvania. We asked all panelists to speak from their area of research and expertise. It is not up to them to
make the connections. We will do that together
and we also allow time after they each presented
for a bit of crosstalk if they desire to do so. And then our goal is to
open up to the audience as quickly as possible. We do keep them to a time schedule so please be mindful of that. You probably could sit and listen to each one of them
independently for a lot longer than we allot them but the idea is that we do wanna
engage in the crosstalk. And with that, I will hand off to Lisa. – Good evening and thank you for coming. As you just probably realized, I’m the only lone humanist on this panel. So I have a tall order here, a myriad of topics that
relate to the human encounters with cars from the
perspective of the humanities. But I can’t do everything. For example, I won’t be discussing the ubiquitous road trip book such as Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. I won’t be discussing the
car in the final scene of Thelma & Louise going off the cliff and I won’t be discussing
the wonderful music for cruising in cars. There’s so many wonderful
humanistic topics related to cars that
I can’t be discussing. However, I will be
discussing the car in history and in this case, the car is
part of 20th century history. This is significant. Very, very few people
living before the start of the 20th century had
any contact with cars. And everybody in the 20th
century, for the most part, was affected by the car. The car is a 20th century thing. You can’t understand the
history of the century without understanding the
car and its many facets. And historians are trained to think about the long sweep of history. So for us, a development like
that is fairly significant. Even that is a big history and so because of my own interest, I’ll be narrowing it down a bit. The reason that I was
asked to be on this panel is that one of the organizers
twisted my arm, John Beck. But the other reason was
because I wrote this book, the Story Of Reo Joe which was about the The REO Motor Car
Company of Lansing, Michigan between 1904 and 1975 and beyond. And beyond, it closed in ’75 but beyond because it still exists,
the car company exists in the hearts and the minds of
the people that worked there and it’s imprinted on the geography and the history of the city of Lansing. That’s why we have REO Town. So I don’t study cars per se but I study the effects of the industry on people and the places
in which they live. Since I have only a few minutes, I’d like to present
perhaps the most dramatic and the most well-known elements
of the effects of the car on 20th century US history and it’s usually described
as Ford and Fordism. So we’ll shift our gaze to Detroit area for the first three quarters
of the 20th century. The story of Ford and what
came to be called a Fordism is important and had far
ranging implications. Fordism describes mass production industry and the Ford River Rouge plant was among the largest in the world. One of the many in many massive
industrial empires of Ford. The story was that the raw material went in on one end of the factory and finished cars came in on the other end and that was not too far off. In the years before the
building of these massive sites, cars were made in hours and in days and there were only thousands
of them produced a year. But by the 1920s, they
rolled off every few seconds and millions were produced every year. So Fordism described this
incredible change in production but it also described the
way work had to change to make that kind of productivity happen. Sometimes it was called
Taylorization or rationalization and it involved engineers and scientists dividing up the work into discrete motions requiring executions in
very small amounts of time. This was the pace of the assembly line, originally called progressive production. It radically transformed the lives of the now massive numbers of workers whose bodies were now
serving the requirements of this stop watch factory. Fordism not only brought
about regimentation and control at the workplace but in the earliest of the 20th century, it was extended to many of
the workers non-work lives and through Ford’s famous
sociological department, Ford extended a carrot to his workers. If you conform to the ideals
of a wholesome family life, sobriety, religious observance
clean and orderly homes then you can earn $5 a day, enough for the average worker
to actually acquire the cars that they were helping to build. And these are titles of
books that talk about this and they use the terms human engineering and social control to describe exactly how these
programs were implemented by members of the Ford Motor Company. If this sociological department,
however, was the carrot enticing workers to conform, the service department
at Ford was the stick. Workers, especially after
the Great Depression and the New Deal, they wanted
to start organizations, labor organizations and they attempted to organize the United Automobile Workers through the CIO, the Congress
of Industrial Organizations. Millions of auto workers clamor to join after the famous victory at
the Flint sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan. But because of the repression of the service department thugs, Ford was the last holdout in
the auto industry to unionize. This is a famous picture of the standoff of what was called the Battle
of the Overpass in 1937. There were auto unionists on the right, Walter Reuther, the famous
soon-to-be president of the union is wearing the watch chain
and the thugs are on the left. By the early 1940s,
however, Ford was organized and the UAW goes on to become one of the
most progressive unions in the United States history, establishing standards and
patterns in collective bargaining that brought middle-class
standards of living to autoworkers and many, many others. This is Walter Reuther on the left marching with Martin Luther
King towards the right in Detroit before the
famous march on Washington where he gave his famous I
Have a Dream speech in 1963. Even though the rank and
file did not always agree, the United Automobile Workers represented what is sometimes called social unionism or the Liberal Alliance
of the mid 20th century, a very important progressive presence in American political life. But the economics that were emerging by the mid to late 20th century began to strain this alliance. The oil crisis, stagflation, changes to the financial globals economy and many other developments of the 1970s brought cheaper auto import or imports into the United States market. Environmental regulations and automation altered the size and
the nature of auto work. Economic nationalism emerged as a response for many automobile workers. In the 1980s, bashing Japanese
cars sent a powerful message and provided an outlet for anger and frustration with changing times. In the 20th century the auto
changed life spaces as well in very, very profound ways. I will only be able to simply introduce a couple of large topics around this. Again, primarily related to Ford. This is a beautiful painting from 1932 by the painter Charles Sheeler
of the River Rouge plant and the river itself. What this doesn’t represent, however, was the fact that in 1932, the River Rouge also erupted into flames because of pollution. The auto factories in
this region and elsewhere brought massive pollution
that brought about the burning of the river itself, and the River Rouge will
actually burn again in 1969. So the problem wasn’t solved. It has been frequently cited as the polluted river in American history and only in recent times,
because of citizens groups, along the river that
has started to come back and this is an article from 2016. The auto industry along the Detroit River and it’s tributaries have
certainly taken their toll on the environment. The other life space affected by the auto industry is residential space and this has had a very troubled history in the Detroit area. While not true of all auto companies, some did hire African American workers and this made Detroit the destination for many making the Great
Migration from the south during and after World War II. This is a very famous
picture from the early 1940s in response to this migration of African-Americans to Detroit. The promise of auto work
did not always extend to all citizens. Finally, the auto, particularly in Detroit and other cities like LA
profoundly transformed how we get around and how cities were organized to accommodate that. Even though we all love the ease and the convenience of highways, some did not benefit from this. Many couldn’t afford cars and without commensurate mass transit, they were left behind. In addition, these lovely
highways and parkways were often built in poor neighborhoods that had been previously
cleared of these communities seen as impediments to progress. And then finally, homes contiguous to these highways lost value. These did not always benefit
everyone in the city. So to conclude, Fordism as represented by all of these trends
that I’ve shared with you was a 20th century
development and a phenomenon and many of these have profoundly changed or are running out of steam
in the last couple of decades. We perhaps live in a post Fordist world. Hopefully, we can build and drive our cars but create a better world with
these lessons from the past. Thank you. (attendees applauding) – Okay, now you’re gonna
hear a very different topic from what Dr. Fine presented. I’m Timmy Bush and I’m in the mechanical
engineering department. So I’m gonna talk about how
we look at the human body and the human body
interface in the vehicle. So even though I’m in
mechanical engineering, the principles we learn in in engineering are what we use on the human body. So instead of looking at the car from a mechanics standpoint, we look at the human body
from a mechanics standpoint. In particular, I’m most interested in what we call kinematics and
that’s the motion of the body which if you think about all of the bones and the rigid structures, it’s
a very complicated machine. Also I’m interested in the forces. So the force interactions
both internally and externally with the body and the
device it interacts with. So you might say how does this
apply to the automotive area? Well certainly, we wanna prevent injury while we’re in a vehicle
whether it’s in a crash or just driving around
a small fender bumpers. We also want to know where
the body is in the vehicle at all times because if we know that, then we can put safety structures around to prevent injury of the
individual like a seatbelt. The seatbelt is designed to
go over anatomical structures that’ll keep your body in place and can withstand load during an impact. We’re also interested in comfort. We spend a lot of time in our automobiles, at least many individuals do and sitting in them for
a long period of times if it’s uncomfortable
can also cause problems. Many of you may have back injuries or have had a back injury at one time and you know that seating is
one of the most painful things that comes when you have a back injury. And then we’re doing a lot more with human body modeling now. So instead of, what they used to do is put a cadaver in a crash test situation
and run a current crash test with an actual body. Now, we’re running
simulations using computers and we’re mimicking the
human body with that. So understanding the human
body from mechanic standpoint is extremely important. If you look over here to the left, whoops. Mm-hm. Wrong way. There we go. To the left, you will see
the Ford’s most recent seat that has 30 different
features for adjustment. 30 different things you have to adjust to get your seat comfortable, okay? So that’s a far cry from
some of the manual seats where you reach down and
you just pull the seat forward or back and there’s a lever where you recline the seat
forward or rearward, right? 30 different features so if you look at the headrest up there, which is a head support structure, it’s actually not a rest, its for crash, it adjusts the upper piece
which is the thorax piece also adjusts in those side
pieces adjust in and out as well as well as the lumbar and
there are cushion supports underneath your buttocks,
underneath your thighs and on the sides of
your butts that adjust. So comfort is a big part of seating. And if you look at the picture
just to the right of it, that’s a cut view of an automotive seat which is a mechanical structure. It has a pan underneath the bottom which acts as your suspension
then there’s a foam piece which is part of the comfort profile and then you have a trim
cover and along the back, you have an articulated piece
which is your lumbar support. So designing a seat requires that you know what the body looks
like, how the body moves and how the body should
be supported, right? If you have a large pointy object in the middle of your back, that’s not going to be very comfortable. Rather, you should have a smooth contour and it should come out
in the lumbar region. Also to the right, we need to
know where the occupant is. Belt placement, as I mentioned,
it also relates to vision, what you can see and if
you’re a petite woman or if you’re a tall man, what
you can see out the windows or the instrument panels as
well as airbag placements. So all of those are related
to human body positioning. So how do we look at that? Well, off to the left, you see a camera and there are some reflective markers down the back of an individual. You’re probably all familiar
with this technology in the movie industry, right? Animations and how they
make the animations move like people move. Lord of the Rings was famous for this. They instrument people in
bodysuits, have them move and have the motion captured by cameras and then they drive the
computer simulations with those movements. So we don’t quite do the animations but we do look at how people move. And at the bottom, you
can see we have targets all the way down a person’s spine. So, of course, you can’t
put an individual in a seat with markers on their back because one, it would be uncomfortable. Two, you couldn’t see the
markers with a camera. So we had to start by
looking at body movements just in general and then
we could put an individual in a seat and we developed methods to define how the body moved. In other words, we can
look at where the chest is, where the pelvis is and if we know that, we know what’s happening to
the spine and how its curving and how it’s moving when you
change your posture, right? Everyone sitting up nice
and straight right now because that’s the best
position for your spine. Okay, and off to the right, you can see the bottom right there
is a simplified version because we don’t wanna track the movement of all the spinal markers, rather, we just wanna know what the thorax and pelvis are doing. So there’s a whole methods assessment that goes with the movement analysis. And on the bottom, you
may not think about this but some people splay their legs. The taller you are,
the more likely you are to move your legs to the side. There was no way to measure
splay nor to define it so that’s another piece
we’ve done in our lab. So you take these
kinematics and on the left, you see a prototype seat
that was a precursor to that Lincoln seat with
30 different positions and it articulates with the body. It actually was a passive
seat so you made it move like an office seat. And we have markers all
along the human body so we could define where they moved if they had to reach
for an instrument panel, if they change their posture and where their head supports were. On the top, you see some
of the force interactions. So those are someone’s butt, okay? On the left and on the right, same person, different postures, same seat. And you can see on the
left there, orange spots, those are underneath the
ischial tuberosities. So let me see if take my mouse. So this is the back of
the butt, this is a thigh and this is a thigh and
there are hot spots here that are a little orange. Those are underneath the buttocks. And if you look at this individual, they’ve splayed more so
they have more contact with the bolsters. Here, they have less thigh contacts so their legs are actually up and they have more loading underneath the ischial tuberosities. Down here, we have a very different seat and a very different person. If you look off to the right,
you can see a hot spot here. That’s because that individual had their wallet in their pocket while they were sitting
in the seat, right? So different shapes,
different interactions, different levels of comfort and different force distributions
across the seat bottom. We can do the same
thing for the seat back. That’s some of the actual
measurements we take that we use for body positioning. Now, let me move into the modeling piece. So many of you have seen what
a crash test model looks like, it looks like a human body but that interaction comes with putting the material properties. So when you sit on a seat, your button your thighs squish, right? And depending on how
big of a person you are, how much adipose tissue you
have, how much you work out depends on how much
your buttocks and thighs are gonna squish and the
shape you’re gonna get. So getting a computer model
that represents that ability is very challenging. And right now, most of
the material properties come from cadavers. And we all know that
the cadaver interaction is going to be very different than an in vivo or a live human being. So we’ve developed a way. This is a crazy test
seat we have in my lab. It’s elevated off the
floor about four feet, you have to step into
it and these slats move. So we can completely
remove a slat from the back and then we can measure
the material properties underneath the buttocks then
we can have the person stand up and we remove the front slat so we can measure the
properties underneath the thigh. And what you see down
here is a section of this where we have an instrument
piece where we take it’s, measures the force, how hard you push and then we can measure how far it moves. And what we’re looking at
is the different regions around the back of the
buttocks and under the thighs. This is important for automotive seating, for office seating and
for medical seating, individuals who are in wheelchairs. So this is relevant material
for many arrays of seating. And what we’re looking at
is what should we input into models to mimic the human body. So men and women in different regions. So if we look here,
we’ve started over here at the top of the butt
down the back of the butt and then down the thighs. And the shape of these curves,
blue is male, red is female. In general, there’s a lot of
overlap between men and women except here, you see the blues shifted. Of course, I had to put in
a graph but it’s required when you’re an engineer. You have to have one slide
with either equations which I thought would really,
really bore you or some data. So this is as you apply the force, how much your thigh squishes. And if we map this with mathematics, we can define how much material properties and input those in for
your computer model. Okay, I need to move along here. So what if you’re not driving, right? We no longer know how you’re
sitting in your seat then because you could be playing
cards, facing one another, you could be reclined one way and another individual
reclined another way. So how do we protect the human body when we don’t know what their posture is. Right now, your posture is defined. Everyone’s facing forward,
everyone’s belted in and all the airbags
are placed accordingly. How is that gonna change when
we have autonomous vehicles? I think your comfort will
significantly improve, right? You could recline, you
could even have a footrest, you could have a monitor in the ceiling but will you be able to stay as safe? And some arguments are, well,
we don’t need the air bags because autonomous vehicles will never get into a crash, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. So future possibilities. We’re getting censored from
all different directions. They’re talking about
health assessment constantly and individuals wearing
it in your clothing. So monitoring your heartbeat, monitoring your blood pressure, load and blood flow
sensors in the seat pan or even cameras monitoring your vision to make sure you’re not
falling asleep, okay? So from monitoring from your ATM, you could be monitoring
all the way to your car and then all the way home. All right, thank you. (attendees applauding) – All right, good evening. I think I’m gonna talk about
something a little different about sitting in a slightly
different type of car. So I’m Dr. David Ferguson, I’m the director of the Spartan
Motorsport Performance Lab. And our goal really is to
improve the performance of race car driver athletes. I just said something there
that should trigger as thought is are race car drivers athletes? Don’t they just sit there? We just talked about sitting. I’m gonna make the argument today that the sitting on this
side on the right here. I get my mouse to work. It’s slightly different than
the other type of sitting or the sitting that you’re doing now. And one person actually agrees
with me is Ernest Hemingway who made this quote, there
are only three sports. Bullfighting, motor
racing and mountaineering. All the rest are mere merely games. So we got one humanity’s
thing in a slide, I tried to. Now, however the human
performance literature disagrees with me on this thought and that if you did a search for any research articles published on human performance of
race car drivers since 1965, you will find less than 60
articles ever published. Now, just give you a little idea, I threw a little data app here
from 2014 so I like this one. If you look for in one
year the amount of papers published on soccer or American football or American football and soccer, you could find a thousand
papers published each year. In comparison to motor racing, there’s only three published that year. So that’s kind of concerning to me there’s such limited evidence because you have these individuals that are exposed to high
ambient temperatures and fire protective suits. To give you an idea, a closed
cockpit race car like a NASCAR on average will see temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit
for three hours at a time. They’re exposed to very
high gravitational loads during the race. To give you an idea, in a turn, it’s not uncommon for race car drivers to experience four to six
times the force of gravity placed on their body. I’ll give you a little perspective. Those of you that might be interested in going to Walt Disney World, if you happen to visit Epcot, there’s a ride called Mission: Space. It’s actually is a centrifuge very similar to the one NASA
uses and you have two choices. You can do the green option
and do the orange option. The orange option exposes you to 2.5 times the force of gravity. There is four paragraphs of warning about what you’ll experience. You might experience
lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea and then if you do a Google search, you’ll find that a
massive amount of people that have actually vomited
after riding this ride. That’s 2.5 times the force of gravity. Drivers experience in
between four and six times the force of gravity every corner and this is over a three
to four hour period, okay? Now, they have to do all this,
exposed to all these loads at 200 miles an hour and have
to make split decisions, okay? So I’m a big fan of audience participation so let’s have a little
fun today, all right? So let’s let’s do a
reaction time drill, okay? I’m gonna start you off easy, okay? I’m gonna hit the button and a
number is gonna pop up, okay? All you have to do is
tell me if there’s an odd or an even number. Even, right. Pretty easy, okay? What if we’re at 60 miles per hour? Okay, so we’re on the
freeway, slightly different. Things can happen a little quicker. You have to tell me the second digit, is the second digit an odd
or an even number, all right? – [Attendees] Odd. – All right, we’re doing well. We can drive home today. What if you’re at the Indianapolis 500 going 220 miles an hour, okay? All right, so once
again, odd or even number but this time, you’re gonna
tell me the third digit. Third digit, odd or even. So some of you might be able
to make the Indy 500, okay. So I wanna give you a perspective here. That was fun. We’re in a nice air-conditioned room, you’re comfortable, you’re sitting there. When you’re a professional race car driver and you climb into that car, we talked about sensors
of what you can measure. We actually measured
these on race car drivers. The minute that car is in the track, your heart rate is gonna go up to 170 beats per minute, okay. You’re gonna be taking
one breath every second. Your blood glucose is gonna go up to 125 milligrams per deciliter
just to fuel your muscles so you can hold yourself
in the race car, all right? Your core temperature is gonna go up to 103 degrees Fahrenheit, all right? If you do this for a three hour race, you will lose seven pounds of sweat, okay? Now think about doing
those reaction time drills under that exposure. Now what’s really interesting though is then you have to do it next weekend and the weekend after that, okay? So I think these drivers are
extremely physically fit. I’m gonna call them athletes, all right? But, however, like I said, the academic literature disagrees with me so I was like to fight
academia whenever I can. That’s where I became a professor. So we decided to actually
measure physical fitness, okay? So we got race car drivers
from NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, IMSA,
that’s sports car racing as well as rally racing. We brought them to lab. By the way the top elite
drivers in the world walked through IM Circle just
across the road there, okay? And our whole goal was to
measure their physical fitness. Now, the first thing we did was measure their cardiovascular fitness. So how healthy their heart is. If you ever had to do
an exercise stress test, this is very familiar to this. I’m not gonna describe
milliliters of oxygen per kilogram per minute, okay? Let’s just say how healthy you are and how good of a runner
you are, all right? So I wanna give you some context. My second favorite sport is hockey. So this line right here represents the average cardiovascular
fitness for NHL players when they enter the NHL. Looks like they’re doing pretty good. Just as a side note, I’ve pulled female drivers out of this. If you wanna have a fun
conversation about female drivers, we’ll talk about that after. Next, we wanna measure body composition. So what’s their percent body fat? So once again, we’re gonna
go to our favorite sport, hockey, alright? So if you notice, NASCAR,
IndyCar and Formula One where weight limit is really controlled. It’s better ever lower
percent body fat, right? If you weigh less, you will go faster. Next is strength., so most of you will think of strength as how much weight you can lift, how much you can bench press,
how much you can squat. That’s absolutely correct
but we like to look at a little differently, okay? We like to look at it
as pure power output. So we use a test called a
Wingate cycle ergometer. That’s what our individual
is using here in this picture where we have them pedal for
30 seconds at their max wattage and it’s the longest 30
seconds of your life. To give you an idea, here’s our
famous hockey players again. So as we look at this, we’re
starting to see a trend of these individuals are pretty fit compared to hockey players. I would call hockey players athletes. I would not certainly call them they’re not athletes to their face. I don’t wanna experience that. So race car drivers have one other unique physical exposure towards
them and that’s g-force loads, gravitational loading. Now, I’m gonna highlight one direction and that’s the vertical G load. That is the head to
the butt loading, okay? So when you watch NASCAR, IndyCar and they take the big bang dovels, these drivers are experiencing
vertical G loading. That’s important to keep in mind because that’s gonna cause
blood pooling in their legs. When you pull blood in your legs, you’re gonna take it away
from your head and your heart. Do you wanna go 200 miles an hour and not have the blood gonna your head? I don’t think so, right? So you need high G tolerance. Well we can’t really
go out on the racetrack and measure that so we use what’s called a lower body negative pressure chamber. Here’s one of our drivers. We seal him at the waist in this box and then we use a very strong vacuum to pull air out of the box
that simulates G loading. That causes blood to pull on the legs and we say how long the race
car driver can last in that and that gives us a measure
of G tolerance, okay? So we put them in the
box, we pull the vacuum, you see how long they can last. I have to apologize. I don’t have data on hockey players and their G tolerance, okay? But I wanted to give you a perspective. So by the way, this line,
if you were below this line. So any number, let me just
pull it, appearing here, you’ll qualify for the
Apollo space program. So we think these
individuals are pretty fit. However, like I said, there’s
very little data out there. So we want to take the
stresses on these drivers like we were talking about with sensors and then actually train drivers. We actually offer a clinic. We offer a motor sport
clinic where we train drivers to optimize their physical
fitness to handle the race car. It’s worked out pretty well for us. We’ve won one NASCAR championship, four Formula One Championships, recently won the 24 Hours of Daytona and just this past fall,
we won the Baja 1000. A real pain in my side is
we’ve only gonna do third at the Indianapolis 500 but I think we’ve got it
figured out this year. So email me in May and let me
know how it goes, all right? Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it. (attendees applauding) No, not yet. – Hello, good evening. So today, I’ll tell a little
bit about what’s going on in the area of autonomous
collective vehicles and particularly a little bit
about what we are in MSU doing about in terms of our research activities. So I’ll start with what we
call the popular narrative about autonomous vehicles
and then I’ll move on to talk a little bit about
some of the aspects of research that we are working on. Probably, the most exciting
aspect of autonomous vehicle is the prospect for enhanced safety. And it’s very unfortunate
to talk about this today because of the news from Arizona. If you have not heard that
there was an unfortunate pedestrian fatality actually due to an Uber autonomous vehicle. But I’ll show you some numbers and by far, autonomous vehicle still has
much better safety record even with this very short period of time in terms of conducting
the research and so on than manually driven cars. Many other aspect of the
benefits of autonomous vehicle has to do really improving our life in terms of increasing productivity. So imagine you driving from
here or not say driving but sitting in a car from
here to Chicago or to New York and then you’ll be able
to basically really do all the things that you
could do as you’re sitting in your living room or in your
library or in your office. So there is a great deal of
productivity we anticipate by enabling this technology. Of course, there are many other benefits and that’s really probably not gonna come from autonomous vehicles themselves but if you combine it
with connected vehicles. And then in a minute,
I’ll make the distinction between autonomous to connect vehicles but one of these benefits
is better fuel economy. Vehicles will be able to
communicate with each other and they will be able
to maximize the benefit in terms of fuel or
minimize the amount of fuel that basically could be burned
because of their movement and because of the flow of
traffic in different parts, not only at an intersection
but different parts of an urban area. Of course, there all always
the prospect of course of also of enjoying your
ride as you’re going so you’ll be able to watch a movie or whatever your favorite sport or probably take some measurements of different parts of your body while you’re sitting as an
occupant, not as a driver. So there is a whole
host of really societal and both economic and safety benefits that we anticipate from
this new technology. Of course, autonomous vehicle actually has been around for a while and I don’t know if you’ve
ever been in the Bay Area. There is a very good likelihood actually if you are just visiting the Bay Area especially in the Silicon Valley, you might bump into one of the Google car that has been running
millions of miles actually just going through testing. Actually, by accident I
experienced this myself. I was just driving in the
San Francisco area one time and this Google vehicle
was just right next to me. So they’re doing and a lot of, they’re collecting a lot of data trying basically to figure out all the different possible scenarios that they could encounter while
having autonomous vehicle. This particular graph actually
has a lot of information but shows you some of the safety benefits of autonomous vehicle. And the bottom line in here, if you compare the safety
record of autonomous vehicle based on millions of
miles that being driven compared to human drivers, by far, autonomous
vehicle is much more safe. Now just to give you a perspective, the reason actually today, the
news from Arizona is big news because of the fact that the
autonomous vehicles is so safe. If it was a manual driven vehicle that was involved in a
pedestrian action or fatality, there is a very good likelihood
you will not hear about it. And in fact, just to give you one number, there is around 75,000 either
fatality or serious injury in the US alone for pedestrian because of manual driven vehicle. So imagine 75,000 versus only one fatality that happens this year. Anyhow, this actual study
which is very thorough, I will not be able to go through, it really shows some of these numbers. There is tremendous economic implication for enabling this technology and really, the estimate in trillions of dollars is just so some of the
services that we anticipate to happen for autonomous. For example, autonomous Uber
or autonomous car sharing, car riding type of services. And again, there is a fair
amount of information here and here, it shows you
actually the different parts of the of the country where
the benefits is anticipated. A lot of it has to do
with with the urban areas. One of the interesting thing that the autonomous
vehicle gonna be enable really a whole host of services we probably cannot imagine today but this is in fact right
now a test that going on, collaboration between Ford and Domino’s for autonomous pizza delivery. So when they could basically just order it and autonomous car will
just bring you the pizza right to your door but unfortunately, you still have to go
to the door and open it and get the pizza probably. Maybe there’ll be a robot
bring it to the door. We’ll find out. So I’ll say a few words
about our program CANVAS. So the centerpiece of, actually, our research is we actually have an autonomous vehicle platform that would be working on for
the last couple of years. The vehicle is equipped with
state of the art sensors and in particular, we have
cameras, we have radars and we have this very exciting technology that it’s a laser sensor
which is known as LIDAR. Basically you could think about it as a laser version of radar. Basically, the technology is
based off having a laser beam, very low power, it’s completely harmless, that sense the environment
by shooting some laser beams and then collecting the
data in order to figure out what really the obstacles
are in front of the vehicle. This is some of the areas
were focusing in MSU. One particular area which is very exciting which is we call situational awareness. Situational awareness is really
about getting the vehicle and building artificial intelligence and the brain for the vehicle such that the vehicle is capable of recognizing its environment, not only in terms of
pedestrian and other vehicles and bicycles and what other inner dynamic or static objects around
it but also to recognize, for example, the pedestrian
is actually a child walking by him or herself because that has a very
tremendous implication on how the vehicle has to react, because then if it’s a child, for example, walking without the supervision of adult then that child could
be crossing the street and we human, as driver, we actually react to that very naturally and we have that capacity. So we’re trying to get the vehicle to that level of comprehension in terms of recognizing its environment. Of course, there is many
aspects of building the vehicle in a very economic way
and a cost-effective way and also, we’re trying
to enable the vehicle to drive anywhere anytime. And one of the wonderful
thing we’re doing at MSU, we have the benefit of doing that is really testing autonomous
driving in four season. So we’ve been specifically targeting snow. So we love it when we have
a snowstorm or blizzard because we take the vehicle
action, drive it along. This is also to show you actually some of the technology areas that unfortunately, we don’t
have time to talk about but there are whole bunch
of buzzwords in here. Some of its known as sensory fusion, how we gonna bring all these different sensor technologies together
in order to enable the vehicle to recognize its environment. We talk about cameras, radars and LIDARs. Also, there is a very important area in machine learning
known as deep learning. This is actually an
artificial intelligence area that’s been growing an importance and it has implications. Not only at the times driving
but anywhere from biology and finding drugs for different
kind of diseases and so on. So there is a very interesting multidisciplinary research
going on in this area, actually, within MSU right now. This is our vehicle actually. We have showcased it so far
and in couple of major events including the International
Detroit Auto Show. Both in 2017 and 2018, we
have received a great deal of actually attention of having been, anywhere from Governor
Snyder, the senators, people from the media. And it’s been really kind
of a very exciting ride if you will, going through that experience and working on this area. I want just to show an
example of LIDAR sensing. This is actually sensing the campus in MSU here in the West Circle and you could see some
of the iconic building like the MSU library and
Beaumont Tower and so on. Another interesting thing. I just mentioned that we’re
actually driving the vehicle on the snow in effect. So far, we’ve had couple
of very successful autonomous driving in the snow. It’s a very limited experiment but it’s really show you some
of the tremendous capability of actually driving the snow. I had this experience actually and I challenged my grad students
to see if they could drive in this particular racetrack
that we took the vehicle to do that testing and so on and actually, the vehicle
was capable of controlling, the artificial intelligence
of the autonomous vehicle was driving better than
my grad students, so. One of the very exciting
research we’re doing is recognizing different object. This work actually been
done by my colleague in computer science and engineering, Professor Herman Hughes. You could see in here, this is on campus right the cross-section by
the engineering building. The vehicle has to recognize
all the different pedestrian. If they’re on bicycle, their
motorcycle or just crossing and it’s very interesting and
important technology actually. We’re not there yet, by the way. This technology, at best,
is about 97% accurate. That means you still have
3% missing pedestrian and that’s what we need
to perfect the technology. So I just wanna share
with you one more thing which is basically, we’re
just getting a second vehicle. This is something being
donated to us by GM and actually, I’m MSU is
only one of six schools in the United States that was selected to participate in this GM
Society of Automotive Engineers competition where the students actually gonna work for three years
to enable this Chevy Bolt to become autonomous. With that I’ll hand it off to to Mark. Thank you very much. (attendees applauding) – Okay, is this on? – Yeah. – Okay, well, good evening, everyone. I’d like to talk about another stage in the autonomous vehicle experience and that is what happens
when they become common. How do we prepare for a new technology? And one of the lessons from looking at new technologies and cities is the engineering is often
very well advanced and analyzed and the social context is often ignored. And so social science
scientists have a responsibility to think about how these new
technologies will evolve. The first point I wanna make
when we talk about cities and transportation is that
cities and transportation are closely linked, that the nature of the cities we have is very closely tied to the
dominant transportation we have. So when the best we could do is walk, our cities were designed for walking. When the best we could do
is public transportation of subways and trams,
our cities were designed for those forms of transportation. When we get to the
automobile, our these change but we force the shape of the city to adhere to the technology. So the question for urban planners is what does it mean for
the future of the city if autonomous vehicles become common? What does it do to our quality of life? What does it do for the way we live? And can our cities retrofit themselves so that the new transportation modes in fact work with the
metropolitan areas we have? We’ve seen narrow cities
especially in Europe trying to deal with traffic. We’ll have the reverse soon
of automobile-based cities managing with autonomous vehicles. So one of the things that I think it’s interesting in planning is that we often don’t think
about the social context of new technologies until
laying around our doorstep and they are part of our lives. And we’ve seen this with
the original automobile, we see it with the internet, we see it with renewable energy. They’re here, they’re being
used, they’re being adopted and then we start to think about how we can manage
those technologies. I would argue that as
new technologies evolve, they move from an engineering
field to a social field. And often, the challenges of technologies are in fact social and
political and economic. Think of the internet. The issues of the internet have moved beyond simply
engineering to the realm of society and how society deals
with those technologies. Another challenge when we plan is that the technologies are
invisible to so many people. We sort of are in this little bubble where we are sort of
aware of what is coming but then you go into the broader society and we’ve just surveyed a
thousand people in Michigan about their experience and understanding of autonomous vehicles
and it’s very limited. There has not been a lot
of analysis undertaken at that level. So we see the need to understand
these new technologies so we can think about what
they might mean for cities in the future. And the futures of new technologies are not universally recognized. Everyone will see in the new technology something that is appealing or something that is frightening. And the message I am trying to get out is that we have choices to make. New technologies are presented to us. We have choices about
how they can be assumed, they can evolve, how we
can develop our society to accept, reject, modify what
those technologies can bring. Which brings me to disruption. Technologies are disruptive in many cases. And I came to look at autonomous vehicles from 20 years of looking at the internet as a technology that was
changing how we lived. We also looked at renewable energy and how it is changing the landscape. So if you’re old like me, you can think of the pre-internet era, you can think of what Grand River looks
like in terms of retailing, in terms of the jobs people did at MSU. They’re very different today because of the role of the internet. So if we start out by saying, well, automobiles led to
the remaking of cities. The internet is disrupted urban life, it has changed where we work, how we work, where and how we shop and
how we get entertainment. We are now confronting the fact that shopping malls will
become increasingly vacant that there will no longer
be a role for them. Yet, shopping malls are often
the center of many communities that identify their community
by the mall or by the center, by the retailing center. So this is a huge disruption. Same thing with with energy. We are not generating energy
in the same way anymore. It is disruptive. The question then is well,
what happens to our cities with these disruptions? What happens over the next 30 or 40 years? There’s a lot of factors
to take into account. It’s very difficult to
predict how will the public, how will we react. Will we adopt? Will we accept? Will we resist? Will we demand changes
to those technologies before we will use them? Will we shift from the owned
vehicle to the shared vehicle? How much road space will we need? Will there be more vehicles? Will there be fewer vehicles on the road? What happens to to parking? What happens to your household garage? How much sports equipment
can you store in it before you find that
if there’s no vehicles, you have all the space that
you may in fact want to use or you may not or you rent out. But what happens to planning
when not every garage is used? What happens to the parking
ramp at MSU if it’s not needed? How do we plan and use those facilities? What happens to signs if
they no longer need it because the vehicles can find their way? What happens to residential housing? Is this an opportunity for us
to redesign how people live? What happens to the
tax and payment systems we have the roads? What happens to parking fines? What happens to speeding tickets? All of these are implications of what these new technologies will do. Will it lead to more sprawl or
will it lead to less sprawl? So when we think about these things, urban planners have dreams
and they have nightmares. And what I find is that
you see in new technologies what you want to see. And sometimes, we don’t remind ourselves that others may not share that vision. So what do urban planners see when they see autonomous vehicles? We’ve get very excited. We see this positively because
this is a more efficient, more sustainable transportation system. Hopefully, it moves us
away from fossil fuels. We see lots more ride-sharing,
fewer trips, less parking, much better organization of city space, the need for fewer roads. We see the opportunity to
increase density to attack sprawl. So the test is I look at the vehicle and I see wonderful things. But then I also have nightmares about what this new
technology could mean for us. It could mean that people will not share and that they want to
own an autonomous vehicle and it will drive them to
MSU and then it will go home and then a few hours later, it will come back and get you and go home. So we have many more journeys
rather than we have today. What about the marginalization
of populations? New technologies can be used as weapons. We can use them or forces
can use them to marginalize, to improve the quality
of one group’s experience and to attack the quality of another. So these new technologies
can be differentially applied or used across our society. And is this gonna be a
missed opportunity again? Because when the automobile
came, we embraced it and we did everything we
could to accommodate it. And often, didn’t really think about the long-term implications. And so I think there’s a
missed opportunity here if we are gonna rethink our cities because one of the fundamental
shapers of urban life is going to change. Are we going to miss the
chance to make our cities more sustainable or more livable? So two questions that come
up when we talk about this. Is everyone aware of the issues? Are we well-informed
enough to make decisions about what autonomous vehicles mean for us in terms of how we live? And the second question is
who has the responsibility to educate and inform us
about these new technologies? Do we take it upon ourselves? Is there some source of knowledge? Hopefully, the university will be one but how do we find out? How do we help make decisions? How do we help shape what
our society will be like because of these
technologies in the future? So a brazen plug at the end. MSU is having what we think is one of the first national conferences on the social impact of
autonomous vehicles in May. We have so much expertise at MSU, both on the engineering side that is looking at the
evolution of the technology and also on the social side. We found over 50
professors who are working and interested in the social
impact of autonomous vehicles. So we have a huge expertise here. They were hoping to leverage around what the future agenda will be like. So we have a group in planning
design and construction, the autonomous futures group looking at what autonomous
technologies mean for urban life. But I ask all of you to think about what does it mean for you? How do you think about what
the future will be like if you had the option of
using an autonomous vehicle? Thank you. (attendees applauding) – Okay, John. I think it’s official, you
have finally stumped me. All right I’m gonna tell
everyone what I think I heard and there may not be as many connections that I made as I’m usually able to. We will see where we land. I mean in some of them,
I kind of threw in things that came to mind so they may
be a little levity in here but we were looking at the
car in 20th century history and really bringing in
the humanist perspective, it was thinking about what’s
the effect of industry, and you might broaden it, on people. Industry and technology on
people and where we live. And it’s a question that
we shouldn’t really leave for the historians, right? That we should be, if you
circle all the way back to Mark, we should be thinking about
the impacts of technology and industry on ourselves
and future generations that all the time. And with Ford and Fordism, the
whole idea of dividing work into discrete actions and thinking about the regimentation of control, are we not now cycling back
to a new way of thinking about how we organize
ourselves in the workplace? And what are the types of things we do and what should we do
versus what should robots do and other forms of support. What was the at the heart
of some of the conversation was human engineering, social engineering and engineering engineering, right? And how they’re all in interwoven. But really this whole idea
of how the auto industry changed our perspective on class and changed our approach to class. You have the Great Migration
in the Midwest because of Ford and on the East Coast, you have neighborhoods being torn apart because now we have to build highways to get people to cool places
and we’ll build bridges that are too low for
buses to get people out to the new cool places, right? And so what does that mean? What’s the impact and
disruption that brings forth? But also how we saw the
emergence of unions. And so as industry changes,
as technology changes, we have to think about
ourselves as workers and how do we acknowledge
everybody’s place in that spectrum. And then Tammy talked about
the human body interface in the vehicle and the motion of the body. And it was interesting to think about how do we design cars
to recognize the limitations of the human body so that
we can be more responsive to both ourselves and what’s
happening in the vehicles and injury prevention. This whole idea that we
created crash dummies so that we don’t have to put
a real person in the car. And now, we might not even
need the crash dummies. We now have technology
protecting the crash dummies and getting us even more
information and better information and Tammy didn’t say we’re
protecting the dummies. That was mine but this whole idea is that we continue to move forward and move each thing out. But it’s the movement from leisure, right? Cars came about as a leisure industry into a form of transportation into, in many respects, a second home. Lots of people spend
good chunks of their time in their vehicles. And so how are we responsive
to those changing dynamics and what does it mean for the human body? And the importance of
valuing experimentation to evolve what is essentially
an assistive device. That’s all a car is, right? It helps us, it assists us
get from one place to another more quickly, not always more efficiently, with less effort sometimes
and what does that mean? But what impact will autonomous
vehicles ultimately have on safety and comfort? And then David. So David’s the one with the levity for me because when he was describing everything, the measuring physical
fitness of race car drivers, I was just imagining how do we feel when we’re driving at really high speeds? Right, and that the traffic
is pushing you along and you’re like okay
wait, I’m in the slow lane but you want me to go faster. What does that do to us psychologically and what happens to us when we’re driving and a car is to close on
a curve and we’re veering. And so just thinking about what we face in our day-to-day driving and then what’s asked of
race car drivers, right? And the importance of thinking about the stressors of the temperature and the tightness of the space. And even though it was
confined to race car drivers, you could imagine what
that would say to us in other aspects of life. And immediately before he
went to the astronaut example, I’m like okay, four to six Gs, we’re already talking about
people going into outer space and what does that mean
and how does the body adapt and yet people are choosing to do this as their career everyday in a way that we don’t think about it and what does that mean and
how do we raise that up. And I think we do wanna
challenge David to tell us about the fun conversation
with female drivers. But also the importance
of technology and research and advancing how we interact with society with these new and emerging vehicles and really thinking about what that means and the understanding the
impact on people and culture because Mark alluded to it a little bit, it begins to become again
who can take advantage of the new technologies
and who gets left behind even before you get to the cities and what happens to the
communities we live in. As Hayder was talking
about autonomous vehicles and opportunity for enhanced safety and increased productivity, it hearkened back to the role
of commuter trains, right? And where there was a time where instead of getting in the car,
I’m gonna get on the train and I’m gonna do my work or
I’m gonna rest and relax there and we already have people
doing much of what we say autonomous vehicles will allow us to do while they’re driving also. So we can see how this
would enhance safety but what wasn’t clear to
me is autonomous vehicles, are they a bigger boon to safety for auto pedestrian accidents or would it be vehicle to vehicle? Where do we really see
the biggest increase or decrease there? But are we ready to trust? Are we ready to trust the
technology’s not gonna fail? Are we ready to trust that
someone’s not gonna find it funny just to hack into our
vehicle, let alone malicious and have we put the technology
and the people in place so that we have appropriate cyber security for our autonomous vehicles? And some of you will get this. How far are we from the Jetsons reality? What comes next? But also how does this compare with when we went from human
drivers into mass transit and thinking about walking
away from horse and buggy or bicycles or walking. What does this transition mean for us and how do we get these vehicles to recognize the environment? It’s the same question
with robotics, right? And how do we get these
different technologies to recognize what was going on. And John always does a fabulous job of figuring out the order because Mark brought us back around to the question of are we really thinking
about the difference that this makes? And if you think about where we live, we have more people in cities
now than in rural areas and are weary shaping cities once again? We have so much built environment, how do we reshape cities? Then we already have brownfields. Are we gonna have a new
version of brownfields because we now have parking
structures and roads and infrastructure that
doesn’t meet the needs of the changing technology
and how do we address that? But also how can we be proactive in managing those technologies and thinking about the sociopolitical and economic long-term impacts? And how do we ensure that it’s not just the social scientists who are in a weaving all of that? So that was kind of my 50,000 foot here or how these are all connecting for me. Wanna give the panel an opportunity if you heard something from each other or something that I threw out there that you wanna respond to or, and definitely, David
tell us the fun factoid. – So I, just along guys. So I baited you a bit with
the female driver story. Are there any race fans in the audience? Big race fans, okay. So everyone knows Danica Patrick, right? So Danica came through our lab
probably about six years ago and she’s a phenomenal athlete. If you ever looked at
her, she is a strong, powerful athlete, right? And I think that she’s
done some amazing things for racing but there’s
always been this stigma that came out that females
can’t be race car drivers and I’m gonna give you
the reason why that is. So about probably three years ago, I’m gonna give you the direct quote. Don’t beat me up afterwards. Okay, I’ll tell you the story. Just don’t beat me up afterwards. So a investigator was evaluating
female race car drivers and he made the comment that due to their reproductive cycle, they cannot be race car drivers because they get too hot in the car. So I mentioned the high
thermal loads in the race car. And this comment was out there and it started to get picked
up by the mainstream media and I said, well, that’s
really interesting. We’ve actually got the
equipment to measure that. Let’s actually look at this
story and see if it’s true. And so we did that. We worked with Danica. We have this several other
very famous female drivers and lo and behold, female drivers
do not get as hot as males on the race car, okay? So they’re actually cooler. And I’ll show you a little
fun factoid of data here. So they did wanna talk about their reproductive cycle
a bit so I’ll talk about it. If we go back to their G tolerance, higher estrogen actually let
you have higher G tolerance. So if you wanna be a better
race car driver, be a female. There’s probably some
socio-cultural reasons why they’re not as successful. So we did this study. We’ve got kind of the data together. We’re actually getting ready to publish it and then on Twitter, the
female liaison for the FIA which is the regulating
body for all of racing came out and said females are
not strong to drive race cars. They should do something else. So we then didn’t publish the paper. We collected more data and are gonna cite that little fun study, that
Twitter post right there. So yeah, in a couple months, look for a study coming out saying that female drivers actually fatigue less and are better on the big
elbows than the males, they don’t get as hot. – So are you gonna call that females rock? – Absolutely. – [Cynthia] Any other
comments from the panel? – So regarding your question
about the safety aspect, is it for vehicle-vehicle? So actually the most
may be cited statistic people usually talk about
when they try to highlight the safety of autonomous vehicle is there are close to probably
40,000 fatalities in the US because of vehicle-vehicle accident. And the staggering statistic
is that 95% of those fatalities are due to human error. And the hope is once you
have artificial intelligence and actually robots
controlling the vehicle, then virtually all of that
95% will basically go away. So that’s really the
target and that’s the hope and that’s the vision. So, hopefully, that’s the case. – Any other comments from the panel? If not, we will turn it over to John to moderate from the floor. I’m actually gonna step aside
but I’m still in the room. John, you’re up. – [John] Okay, so if you have
a question, raise your hand but let me just throw one out
while I’m looking for hands. And that is that as I think about the fact that in Washington, D.C. where I do a little bit of visiting, there are these now bikes
that you take from one place and leave at another. Just put your credit card in. Are we going to see autonomous vehicles actually slimmed down too maybe
individual kind of vehicles in a way where I’m gonna be able to pick it up at one corner,
put my credit card in, drop it wherever I do and
then it’ll be picked up or someone else will use
it where they find it. Are we going to change the way
we think about automobiles? So any of you can comment. – [Hayder] Sound like Mark question. – I was thinking that I read
the Sydney Morning Herald every evening and I read it tonight and an autonomous bike hit a Tesla. It was an unattended autonomous bike that a Singaporean company
is bringing to Sydney and it hit at Tesla and they
said it was an act of God according to their insurance company. It was not an accident. So to me, what is challenging is that I have great
respect for the engineers and that they can predict
when things will happen. You deal with people in society and things are incredibly
messy and complicated and gray and difficult to judge. So we have hopes. And so I think that this is
a real sort of Rorschach test that you also want to look
at the autonomous vehicle and I’m thinking
fuel-efficient, fewer journeys. And some was saying I’m
gonna live an hour and a half from Lansing, I’m gonna have
my coffee or watch a movie and I don’t care how much
I move back and forth because I’m comfortable. And so we would like to see the
slimming down the efficiency but I think we have to
keep reminding ourselves, there’s lots of choices here to be made. Who’s making the choices and how are those choices being made? – [John] Any other comments? There’s a question right here. – [Attendee] Okay, I had
a question for Dr. Radha. Well, David, you can argue this out. Could you program this autonomous
vehicle to win at Daytona? – Maybe that’s more his question. – So, yeah. I’ll be chiming on that. Maybe, I think we might see that. I’ll tell you this. If you’ve ever sat in the
Formula One paddock pit, all you hear is the
engineers telling the driver how to drive the race car. And in fact, if you’re a race
fan, you know Kimi Raikkonen. They tried to tell him
how to drive the race car, he replied on the radio, “Shut
up, I know what I’m doing.” So I think you’re not far off. I think we like to see
the human side of it. Oh, I’m getting social
cultural, I was not, keep physiologist from talking about that. It’s not good. I think it’s definitely possible. The engineers build the car
for the optimal racing line to go the fastest and we were
probably gonna get very close to driver aids, driver supports. So in ’92 the Williams F1
team basically invented traction control and it was amazing. They won the whole thing, right? What F1 do? They pulled it off, right? They said there was too much
of a competitive advantage. So we may see it get close to that but I think we might see the
regulations strip it away to see more of the drivers on it. If you wanna chime on it. – I show you the example
actually of driving on the snow and I mentioned that, in
fact, the autonomous vehicle is probably more capable
of avoiding slippage and those kind of things
than human drivers. So I really believe that the level of artificial intelligence
could reach a point where you could actually
envision those kind of ambitious, futuristic, if you all, targets that I don’t think it’s
far-fetched, frankly. But I don’t think that probably
is something gonna happen in five years, maybe it’s
more, you know, 15, 20 years. – [Attendee] Yeah, I
have a series of thoughts and questions. Okay, given the fact that
US tax doesn’t pay Michigan as much as it pays other states so we have bridges falling down, we have fracking causing
parts of the land to drop, we have potholes that
you could bury a cow in. Will your autonomous vehicles to be able to detect these things coming? – Actually, yes. In fact, right now, one
of the wonderful thing about the LIDAR, the laser
technology I was mentioning that it is capable, in
fact, on detecting potholes. And assuming they are
deep enough, of course, which is by definition, that’s a pothole. And then actually, you
could adjust the suspension of the vehicle such that
you will not even feel that you are going over a pothole. So that’s just comes almost inherent with having LIDARs and this
laser sensors on the vehicle. – [Attendee] So my question
is more of a have you guys, in terms of with dealing
with the car and the seat, have you like gone into
thinking about the fact that the population is become more obese and has that affected
how you design the chairs and then also, do you think
that autonomous vehicles might increase the chance
of people being more obese in the future because of it? – So, yes. Very aware that the population
is becoming more obese. The automotive seats
though are still designed and have specifications predominantly for the 50th percentile male occupant. So they haven’t taken into account in the automotive industry obesity but they certainly have
in the office industry and those force deflection
tests that we’re looking at, that’s one area where
we can make a difference in seat design is in model replication. Obesity comes in many shapes so you don’t gain the
weight in just one area. So it’s not only a increase in BMI, it’s also a deformation
piece or shape change piece. So yes, that’s a rich area for research and that’s one we’re in but there hasn’t been
a lot of accommodation, at least in the automotive
industry for obesity. But you tend to find larger individuals, people pick their vehicle
styles based on their body size and shape in some instances. Some vehicles are much more accommodating for a very short petite woman and some have flat wider seats, more accommodating for
taller and larger individual. – [Attendee] Something I noticed that was neglected to
mention was responsibility for accidents than self-driving cars. I don’t know if there’s
any thought on that and who’d be responsible. – Well, it’s part of the fact
that so many sectors lagged when it comes to
understanding what will happen because one of the crucial
factors when it comes to driving will be insurance. And so how the insurance industry responds to autonomous vehicles
will be interesting. They’re much safer. But what about people
that want to be autonomous during the week and on the weekend, they want to drive themselves? What about people that use
their autonomous vehicles or try to use it in dangerous ways, can the technology hold them back? The industry is just
now beginning to think about what the future holds but there’s a lot of data on testing but there’s not a lot of data
yet on autonomous vehicles sharing the road with everything else for the insurance industry
to address in its terms. So I think this has become more pointed because of the speed of change in the way that the internet in 20 years has brought so much change. The speed with which autonomous
vehicles are advancing is outstripping our
ability to come to terms with the social context of what it means. And it will take a while for
everyone to be involved enough to make a decision. But I think it’s really interesting that we may well find that
the insurance industry holds the key to how a
lot of this will unfold simply because of what
they are willing to insure and not insure. – I would just probably echo
some more what Mark said. The whole model actually
for owning vehicles probably gonna change. And OEM, the big companies
like Ford and GM, they almost preparing for
that because they anticipate, especially in urban areas that
it’s already happening now. Owning a vehicle is not gonna
be the norm in the future and vehicle will be
shared among large number. It’s almost like, I mean
you know about Zipcar and those kind of companies is gonna become like an autonomous Zipcar and people basically were
just, whole bunch of. So who’s gonna insure that? I mean and if you get into an accident, who’s responsibility is it? And is it the responsibility
of the manufacturer or is it the responsibility
of the occupant? Is it the responsibility of
maybe some other third party that have contributed to the design. So it’s pretty open-ended question. – But I do have a question for you. You are the only person I know
who owns an autonomous car. So. – I don’t own it, it like belongs to MSU. – I get but, well, who insure? Is it insured as a regular vehicle? – It’s actually insured
like a regular vehicle, yes. – [Attendee] Okay, I
understand demographically that the people under
30 want to live close to where they work that
or be sitting in a car for an hour and half commute every day. And so if that seems to be a large part of the people who might have money even though they’ll have a
lot of education with that, who will buy these cars? I mean I know people who
still don’t own a cell phone. So you got early adopters, late
adopters, follow the money. And in terms of who’ll
educate with technology, it’s always the people who are
selling the vehicle, right? – Well, in some societies,
it’s who sells the vehicle. In other societies, the
government may well feel a responsibility for education. It depends upon the context. – Thank you so much. I have a question for Lisa. It seemed to me that a lot of the comments really have to do with the
car in American society in particular though,
obviously there’s implications for elsewhere in the world. From your perspective
as an historian, Lisa, in your comments about how
the introduction of the car and its wide use sort of changed
American culture earlier, what kind of questions would
you have us be thinking about in terms of the implications
for American life and American culture of the
other end of the table here, the autonomous vehicle? Because I suspect from your
point of view as an historian as you said, looking at the long view and having the benefit of
really thinking seriously about what the car has meant
for American society to date. What should we be thinking about in terms of implications
on culture and our society? – Right, historians
famously never predict. So I’m not predicting anything but I will just give you
some benefit of insights about the past to whatever
usefulness they might be. It was not by accident that I started with allusions to cultural symbols. The car is a cultural symbol for freedom in the United States. It is being on the road,
it is being in control of your own destiny. You think about it in the same vein, not so much as the internet, it’s not a disruptive technology, it’s a personal possession like a gun. And Americans like their
personal possessions that allow them personal
autonomy and freedom. So make of that what you will. We’ll see how that plays out. The other thing is that technologies, the history of technology and I’ve done a little
work on this as well, show, all of you have seen Blade Runner, right? New technologies don’t
replace old technologies. They all exist side by side, right? So we might have this wonderful
new technology coming, it doesn’t mean that
everyone going to adopt it, take it, use it and abandon
what has existed before. Things exist simultaneously together. Cities have multiple ways
that people get around, they still do. There are places that still have trolleys, there are places that
still have mass transit, there’s still places
where people use bicycles. So it’s going to be a new option clearly but it’s not going
supplant, I would suggest, because it’s not the history of technology that one technology completely supplants all the rest that have come before it. – [John] Well, since I happened and I ask Hayder to comment in second but I just have to tell
you as a historian, one thing that I always thought
was an interesting factoid is that Hitler actually used more horses going into Russia than Napoleon did. So I mean I think that we have a problem in terms of understanding
what’s often called the persistence of the old rather than the fascination with the new. Hayder. – Right, yeah, just to
follow what this I just said. From an engineering point of view, the most challenging aspect of actually designing the vehicle is worrying about this transition era from the time this vehicle
really gonna become something that you could buy and people
could have ownership of and then having that mix
of manual driven vehicle and autonomous vehicle. Autonomous vehicles actually
come with different level of what you call autonomy. So some of it, you could
control it with, you know, at sometime, some of it
you have zero control to the extent there is no
even steering or pedal. So that heterogeneous type of environment is actually from an
engineering point of view is the most challenging in terms of how do you design something that’s gonna be operating and has to deal with human factor issues
and human decision and the computer really has no control over the other vehicle that’s by them. And it’s frankly is mind boggling. It’s much easier if everybody switched to autonomous vehicle but we
know that’s not gonna happen. – [John] Okay, other hands. Do we see other hands? Okay, I’m coming to your way. As I’ve often pointed out, this is an exercise
program for older, chubby faculty members. – [Attendee] Thank you. Thank you, everyone, first of all. Is there a place for the high-end
high-performance vehicles other than on a racetrack
in the future as you see it for anybody who wants to buy one along with autonomous vehicles. In other words, I guess, a
better way, let me rephrase it. Will there be autonomous
vehicles, would you predict, that have more high performance
sort of characteristics? Maybe a better way to put that. – So I think it’s an
excellent question, actually. I think we need to
really make a distinction between a couple aspects
of the technology. So the core aspect of autonomous vehicle that when we say wholly
something autonomous or the vehicle gonna become autonomous, we’re really basically
converting a mechanical thing which is the regular vehicle right now to autonomous literally by
mimicking the human brain. So the main aspect of the technology is really this artificial intelligence and the brain aspect that
we bring into the vehicle. All the other aspect
like high performance, that could continue or could
basically continue to progress from an engineering point of view and you could have the
combination of both progressing the artificial intelligence
and the brain part and then the mechanical and
the high-performance part. So these things could really coexist and they both could get improved and one of them could
be better than the other in terms of how much I had
in terms of technology. So the short answer is yes. I just wanna make sure that we recognize, actually, we’re talking
about pretty distinct aspects of technologies here there
we’re really dealing with. – Well, chime in on that as well. So probably about, I think,
three, four years ago, Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren released what they call the ultra cars and they’re actually all hybrid design. And at the time, the
chairman of Porsche said, “We think the automobile is gonna go “kinda the way of the horse.” Okay, so I’m speaking
like a historian now. That’s never a good thing either. But if you go back, everyone
used to have a horse to get around, right? Is the horse still around? Yes, absolutely but it’s
mainly for the enthusiast. I think we’re gonna start to
see the non-autonomous vehicles go that way as well. We might get more of the
pure driving experience for those that want it. But likewise, if you all
chime back to racing, if you look at racing over the years, that technology has always advanced the automotive technology. So I mentioned the ’92 Williams F1 car that introduced traction control. That is my favorite F1
car living in Michigan that I have traction control now. And the same thing as the technology will kind of advance along and it we’ll start see it trickle down. I do think there will be high
performance autonomous cars. I’m interested on the legal
aspects of that though. Could you program it to
go faster on the highway if you want to? But I think we’ll start to
see something go that way. – [Attendee] Okay, so
with this new technology, how big of an impact do you
think that’s going to have, not only on jobs but also businesses? Somebody made a comment about big cities and we can see from big cities
that started off as cabs and then since technology has grown, we came up with Uber and Lyft
and there has been lawsuits and regulations on Uber
drivers and Lyft drivers for not being certified or taking a test like cab drivers have. I guess I just wanna
know to expand on that, like what do you think
businesses will do for that. How can you make a car
certified for that kind of role because I see that becoming an issue. – Well, employment is not
just the cab driver side. I think the employment,
one of the challenges I see that one of the few high school graduate reasonably paying jobs is truck driver. And that will be perhaps
one of the first targets of an industry that would like to see autonomous
transportation or bus drivers or anyone who is paid to
drive will be seen as a target for this new technology. And so there’s certainly
gonna be job losses associated with it
because that is one area you will invest in. As an employer, you will
look at where your costs are and say these are things
that are expensive, how can I minimize them? So there will be some
things that will be obvious but there may be you’ll also
use lots of unintended losses and job changes as a result and it’s only through
conversations and analysis and thinking through the implications as to what will happen to
how and where jobs are. Just thinking through
perhaps on the traumatic side of the future which will be
good, there will be less trauma, there will be fewer accidents. If there are fewer
accidents, at the moment, you don’t have to go very
far in a state like Michigan without a trauma center nearby if you are in a serious accident. We would be able to
manage the same density of trauma centers when
trauma is much rarer. What will happen to employment in that? What happens to organ donations in a less traumatized future? All of these little aspects
will eventually be identified and my argument is we
should think about it now. We should start tracing
through every step of the way of what happens to different jobs, what happens to different
groups and how they may engage, how they may benefit or
how there may be a cost. So it’s not a matter of
simply this is good or bad. It is where will the benefits fall, where will the costs
lie, who will benefit, who will pay the cost. Just getting an understanding
of integrated society where all of these different
elements will fall. But I think employment is one
that is certainly interesting. On the other hand, you have
who’s building and designing and making the new technology because that’s on the
creation side of jobs. – [John] Now let me point out that as long as I do home
construction projects, there will be a need for
a ready care so you know. But I wanna ask the panel a question and it very well may be
that this is really gonna be a little bit out there but recently, there’s been a lot of what Lisa would call vertical integration that is
that many of the companies are beginning to try to make sure that they essentially
control the future of cobalt, the future of lithium and other things. So I guess I’m throwing it to Hayder, I’m throwing it to any of you
that might be aware of this. Are we looking at certain
limits and restrictions on the future of this growth? That is are there things
that are gonna get in the way of the growth of autonomous cars simply because there isn’t enough of specific precious
metals or other things that are going to, have to or a new technology is
gonna have to be developed in terms of batteries or
any other kinds of things, Hayder, that you’ve been talking about. – So this is actually another aspect where you have all all
the multiple technologies kind of interacting with each other. So you brought the battery issue. In fact there are, I don’t if I should. They even say this in public
but there are many engineers in fact, they have a little bit faith that electric vehicle is gonna be really as successful as people would hope for mainly because of the
engineering challenges in actually designing batteries that could compete with
regular fuel kind of cars that fuel by gas and so on. So I think we need to
make that distinction. In terms of autonomous vehicle, again, if I focus on the artificial
intelligence aspect of it, our biggest challenge is
really achieving human level of perception and understanding. I gave the example of right now, the technology for pedestrian
detection is about 97%. Now that sounds pretty good
but 3% is still not acceptable of not being able to detect pedestrian. So to me this is really it’s not so much about the material aspect or you know, but from an artificial
intelligence point of view is really reaching, basically we’re targeting
perfection in terms of, and we know, we human
are literally perfect if we’re sober, right? As long as we’re not
texting while we’re driving or we’re not drunk while driving. So that other part. Now again, there are other parts which is some people talking
about having electrical vehicle that become autonomous then
you basically really looking at some other aspects of the technology. Like can you build batteries
in electric vehicle that could drive from New York to LA without being charged, for example? Or charge somewhere not every 100 miles or every 200 miles so on. So there are that aspects where you bring these
different technology. Each of them, they have
their own limitations. – [John] I wanna turn
it back to you, Cynthia. – Thank you to our panelists
and before you clap, I just wanna offer in
the state of Michigan having a conversation
about all things auto seems to make perfect sense. We could imagine sitting
in some other states where the question might have been flipped about what about walkability, right? That’s really important
in some communities and it spans across generations and so even as we sit in probably the auto capital of the US, we need to think about the
implications for communities and people that really
do want walkability. And as we advance technology, how do we do it in a way
that we don’t disenfranchise the very need it’s nothing more than for physical activity and health to continue increasing
walkability and bikeability and that we don’t leave
those options behind as we’re racing ahead to other options. But that there’s intentionality that they don’t just get to exist together that we are intentional about
how they exist together. And so I would like to ask the audience to thank our panel with me. (attendees applauding) I would like to thank all
of you again for joining us and for such interesting questions and to encourage you to keep
an eye out for 2018, 2019. John and I will be meeting
soon to semi finalize those topics but they
promised to be as disparate and interesting in the future
as they’ve been to date. We like to take on big challenges and bring in different parts of the campus and so you can look forward to that and just as a teaser,
I’m gonna tease John. Every now and then, you might
see a different moderator other than John and I. He doesn’t wanna hear that
but I’ll say it publicly now, that every now and then we
might play with another model and have other moderators
every now and then. We’ll see. He might twist my arm later and tell me that’s not an option but. – [John] Autonomous panel. – Autonomous panel, we can do it. We can do that. But again the panelists
will be here for a bit if you want to ask them some
questions and otherwise, enjoy the balance of your evening and thank you again and thank you to those who have watched us during livestream.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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