Larry Burns advises organizations on the future of mobility, logistics, manufacturing, energy and innovation. His current clients include Waymo, Goodyear and Kitson & Partners. Larry served as General Motors Corporate Vice President of Research & Development and Planning from 1998-2009. Between 2010 and 2016, Larry was Professor of Engineering Practice at the University of Michigan, Director of the Program for Sustainable Mobility at Columbia University, and an advisor to several major companies.
Larry is the author of Autonomy: The Quest to Build The Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World (with Christopher Shulgan and published by Ecco / HarperCollins on August 28, 2018).
Inside the Episode:
(05:02): Larry starts us off with a brief history of his upbringing and how it influenced his passion for travel.
(12:44): We begin our discussion on autonomous technologies and how Larry began his career as a contributor to these technological advancements.
(14:40): As Vice President of Research and Development for General Motors, Larry was met with a life changing question by GM’s CEO. As Larry explains, this question influenced Larry’s philosophical outlook on what it meant to develop and manufacture an automobile and contributed to new developments around electric vehicle design.
(20:40): What do YOU hate about travel?! Long lines, expensive airfare, overpriced hotels, and the time you spend moving between destinations?? Well, autonomous technology appears to be the solutions to those problems. In the not too distant future, the annoying aspects of travel will likely become more enjoyable as our cars turn into autonomous hotels on wheels and humans start to opt for their autonomous transport vessels over expensive crowded airplanes and public transit.
(35:25): Is it better to have autonomously driven vehicles instead of manually driven cars?
39:50: How will autonomous tech decrease the financial burden of owning a car? Similar to your Netflix subscription and how the Uber app operates, you may be ordering an autonomous travel vehicle in the very near future. So, while you’re sitting back letting the car drive itself, maybe think about what you can do with all that extra cash!
50:00: When will autonomous vehicles be an everyday reality?