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Business Leaders Put Driverless Tech on the Fast Track

Oct. 20, 2015
The SAFE task force will look at the social, political, market and regulatory challenges of self-driving cars and make recommendations in early 2016.

A Washington-based energy group dedicated to reducing dependence on foreign oil yesterday announced a new task force to accelerate the development and adoption of driverless vehicle technology.

Robbie Diamond, president and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), told the audience at a National Press Club gathering that autonomous technology has the potential to “accelerate the deployment and use of electric vehicles and stimulate the mobile sharing economy,” reducing the transportation sector’s dependence on oil. He also spoke of the technology’s potential to “drastically reduce road fatalities.”  

The task force will look at the social, political, market and regulatory challenges of self-driving cars and make recommendations in early 2016 to “shape an environment that supports and accelerates” getting the vehicles on the road.

SAFE is a nonpartisan group comprised of business and military leaders. Its priorities include alternative fuel vehicles, domestic oil supply and vehicle efficiency and technology.

Members of the Autonomous Vehicle Task Force include:

  • Mark Platshon, Managing Director, Icebreaker Ventures, an angel venture fund investing in early stage software, mobility, IOT and commerce and energy companies.
  • Peter Shannon, Managing Director, Firelake Capital Management, an early-stage investment fund with a focus on energy, water, material sciences and global supply chain.
  • Evangelos Simoudis, Senior Managing Director, Trident Capital, a technology investment firm.
  • Levi Tillemann-Dick, Jeff and Cal Leonard Fellow, New America Foundation and author of “The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future”
  • Rutt Bridges, geophysicist and author of “Driverless Car Revolution”
  • Mike Granoff, Principal, Maniv Mobility, an investment fund focused on advanced transportation technology.
  • Chunka Mui, Co-founder and Managing Director of The Devil’s Advocate Group and author of “The New Killer Apps: How Large Companies can Out-Innovate Start-Ups”

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