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Autonomous Driving Continues to be Hot Study Topic for Automotive Steel Industry

BRUSSELS — For two days 26-27 February 2018, more than 300 professionals interested in the future of transportation and all of its intricacies gathered at a conference sponsored by the University of California – Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies. Mr. Russell Balzer, Technical Director, WorldAutoSteel, was in attendance and positioned the global automotive steel industry as an expert resource on autonomous vehicle (AV) solutions.

The Three Revolutions Policy Conference attendees were from academia, government, private, and non-profit sectors. They all explored three areas: 1) Shared, 2) Electric and 3) Automated Technologies and Services. Presentations focused on “…righting the errors of the environmental and social impacts of 20th century transportation.”

Mr. Balzer noted that for the steel industry to be a part of an historic 21st century transformation in mobility is a remarkable thing. “Our society hasn’t seen this kind of opportunity for fundamental change in the transportation system since the end of World War II, and the steel industry stands poised to be a major contributor to all three Revolutions,” said Mr. Balzer.

A phrase heard several times in the discussions was “Don’t Waste A Crisis,” referring to an opportunity to leverage the growing problems of congestion, pollution and inequity to implement a huge, successful “transportation do-over.” To our credit, the automotive steel industry has offered forward-thinking technologies to OEMs for decades; most recently, the WorldAutoSteel FutureSteelVehicle project, which offers very lightweight, efficient steel body structures for electric vehicles.

“Steel has always been and will continue to be the automotive material of choice,” added Mr. Cees ten Broek, Director, WorldAutoSteel. “The steel industry has worked hard to become a center of excellence in the development of the kinds of technical, environmental and policy solutions that are required to meet the challenges that the transportation sector is facing now and will face in the future.”

For those passionate about the future of 21st century transportation, Daniel Sperling, Founding Director and Professor, Institute of Transportation Studies at UC – Davis; Member, California Air Resources Board of Directors, has published a book, “Three Revolutions, Steering Automated, Shared and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future”– a recommended read.