Until his retirement in 2009, Larry Burns was SVP of research and development for…

Until his retirement in 2009, Larry Burns was SVP of research and development for +General Motors for 11 years where he led a team that worked on all kinds of really cool technology. Larry oversaw development on tech as ranging from robotics to fuel cells to autonomous vehicles and I was lucky enough to chat with him on a number of occasions.

GM has been researching semi and fully autonomous vehicles since at least the early 1990s and in 2007 a fully autonomous Chevy Tahoe built by GM and Carnegie Mellon University won the DARPA Urban Challenge. I was lucky enough to ride shotgun in "Boss" at CES in 2008 as it magically avoided obstacles in the parking lot of the Las Vegas convention center.

Following that victory Burns and director of advanced technology vehicle concepts Christopher Borroni-Bird turned their attention scaling down the technology to create personal urban mobility vehicles that debuted as the EN-V concepts during the 2010 Shanghai world expo.

Burns, Borroni-Bird and William Mitchell wrote a book on their ideas called Reinventing the Automobile that among other things looks at how cars can evolve to become more compatible with increasingly crowded urban environments in the 21st century. Smaller footprint vehicles that can drive and park themselves and be shared will likely be a big part of providing point-to-point personal mass transit in the coming years.

#larryburns #autonomous #autonomousvehicles

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Self-driving vehicles on near horizon, GM's former r&d chief says
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Self-driving vehicles, once thought to be a thing far in the future, will be available by 2020, Larry Burns, former head of r&d at General Motors, said today. Speaking at the U…

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