Can Robotic Cars Save the World?

Event Description:

Prototype self-driving cars have been built by small, innovative teams thanks to a military-funded contest. But they can change the civilian world in astounding ways. This talk outlines how this technology could save millions of lives and make efficient electric (or other new technology) cars marketable and practical, resulting in major reductions in pollution and the elimination of the need to import oil.

The consequences extend into the realm of social interaction, manufacturing and the very nature of cities — perhaps the largest effect on the world that computers may have in the medium term. But the challenge is not just technological, but also political and social, and the results are not all upsides.


Brad Templeton is currently early in the development of Caller App, the “reinvention of the telephone call itself” and chairman of the Electronic Freedom Foundation.

Templeton founded and ran ClariNet Communications Corp., the first internet-based content company, then sold it to Newsedge Corporation in 1997. ClariNet publishes an online electronic newspaper delivered for live reading on subscribers machines.

He’s been active in the computer network community since 1979, participated in the building and growth of USENET from its earliest days and in 1987 he founded and edited rec.humor.funny, the world’s most widely read computerized conference and today the world’s longest running blog. He has been a software company founder, and is the author of a dozen packaged microcomputer software products.

Brad also sits on the advisory boards for a few internet startups, including BitTorrent, Inc and is also on the board of the Foresight Institute (A Nanotech think-tank). Via ClariNet, He was a plaintiff in the case to get the USA’s Communications Decency Act successfully overturned in the supreme court. He was born in 1960, grew up near Toronto and now lives in Silicon Valley in California. He holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo.

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Event Details

November 10, 2009


Fenwick & West
801 California St.
Mountain View CA


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