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Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century—Larry Burns and Jeffrey D. Sachs

2009-11-04

On October 1, 2009, Larry Burns completed a distinguished career with General Motors, serving as corporate vice president of Research & Development. In addition to driving innovation into today's vehicles, Burns led GM's development of a new automotive “DNA” that marries electrically driven and “connected vehicle” technologies.

The goal is to realize sustainable personal mobility with smart vehicles that are aspirational and affordable. He has been a major voice for the “reinvention” of the automobile and the diversification of transportation energy. Within GM, he personally championed vehicle electrification, “connected” vehicles, fuel cells, bio-fuels, advanced batteries, autonomous driving, and a series of innovative concept vehicles. He has been a leading advocate for design and technology innovation focused on the total customer experience and the application of operations research.

Burns holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, where he is a member of the Advisory Council for its Institute of Transportation Studies. Burns recently completed a book (with Professor William J. Mitchell, MIT, and Christopher E. Borroni-Bird, General Motors) entitled Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century. It is scheduled for publication in January 2010.