[Note, video updated on 9/14 to include images of Volvo Vera and Schaeffler Mover, as referenced below]
Drawing a parallel between the so-called broadband digital divide and mobility, Princeton Professor Dr. Alain Kornhauser suggests that, “Rural America has a substantial number of mobility challenged individuals,” in this 3rd part of an interview filmed at the AVS18 conference. Kornhauser believes that adding autonomy to the mix can help individuals who don’t have access to the same mobility options available in more dense urban areas.
The exciting thing about autonomy, particularly in combination with electrification, connectivity and sharing, is the idea that vehicles can be designed to move both people and goods. Separate announcements from Mercedes, Volvo and Schaeffler (“Schaeffler Mover“) about the use of a common “skateboard platform” for various autonomous vehicles, reinforces the notion that it will be possible to serve multiple use-cases with at least a common drive-system. Uber Eats provides another proof-point that it is possible to serve various transport and mobility needs with one vehicle.
Kornhauser suggests he and his Princeton colleagues will soon quantify the rural market for autonomous travel and that his gut feel is that this segment presents an enormous opportunity. Finally, Kornhauser shows off his latest fashion statement that was given to him by his fellow SmartDrivingCar podcaster and noted radio & TV journalist, Fred Fishkin.