Driverless Vehicles and Donald Trump – What’s Next?10 Nov

How will Donald Trump’s election victory impact R&D conducted by the U.S. Government regarding driverless vehicles? There may be reason for a bit of optimism.

During his post-election speech on November 9th, President-elect Donald Trump stated, “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

In a previous post, I wrote, “Failure to invest in roadway infrastructure in the United States may delay the ultimate commercialization of driverless vehicles. “An estimated 65 percent of U.S. roads are in poor condition, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the transportation infrastructure system rated 12th in the World Economic Forum’s 2014-2015 global competitiveness report.”

“The Huffington Post noted, ‘Shoddy infrastructure has become a roadblock to the development of self-driving cars, vexing engineers and adding time and cost. Poor markings and uneven signage on the 3 million miles of paved roads in the United States are forcing automakers to develop more sophisticated sensors and maps to compensate, industry executives say.’ More advanced sensors will add more cost to driverless vehicles.”

As for federal support of driverless vehicles, “The government’s new support includes a request in President Obama’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year for $4 billion, to be spent over 10 years, to finance research projects and infrastructure improvements tied to driverless cars.” It remains to be seen whether Donald Trump puts this level of spending on a ‘fast track’ to accelerate driverless vehicle development.

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.

Contact

For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.