Summer 2015

The topic of autonomous vehicles grabs the attention of more than just car enthusiasts and techies. Most of us want to know what the future of driving will look and feel like as we regularly hear about companies experimenting with self-driving cars.

The summer issue of X-OLOGY Magazine takes a close-up look at autonomous vehicles, including what we can expect to be driving in the not-so-distant future. Writer Michael Wayland presents the remarkable technologies (think seamless communication, 3D navigation, cameras, sensors and radar) that will forever change the dynamics of sitting behind the wheel — and the future possibility of no longer even having to sit behind the wheel. 

We also get a first-hand account of what it’s like to be an autonomous vehicle passenger, thanks to writer Henry Payne, who took a ride in Google’s autonomous Lexus 450h last summer. Don’t let his reference to “The Exorcist” scare you away from this eye-opening report that weighs some of the pros and cons of autonomous cars and takes a look at where the industry is headed.

Our People Profile features Richard Wallace of the Center for Automotive Research, whose work as director of transportation systems analysis is particularly focused on safety aspects of self-driving vehicles. He believes the autonomous vehicle industry should strive to eliminate traffic fatalities altogether.

Similarly, Continental Corporation, featured in our Business Profile, says its commitment to autonomous vehicles is driven by the company’s Vision Zero concept, which is based on creating systems with the ultimate goal of eliminating driving accidents and fatalities.

Our Education Kaleidoscope features the University of Michigan School of Information’s Entrepreneurship Program, designed to make sure each student participates in a “passion-led, self-driven innovation project,” according to Nancy Benovich Gilby, the program’s director. Gilby wants her students to get involved in any type of work that involves innovation, regardless of their ultimate career choice. Students of the program can’t say enough about the impact it has had on their ability to develop and carry out ideas.

And, speaking of ideas, writer Susan Pollack has plenty of unique travel destinations in her Lifestyle article, where she shares off-the-beaten-path adventures that will take your summer to a whole new level of fun.

As always, we invite you to share your thoughts about this issue of X-OLOGY Magazine, and we ask you to send your ideas for future articles. We love to get your feedback.


Jane Racey Gleeson