Over the past two weeks, the automotive industry has been in the national spotlight as the 29th annual North American International Auto Show takes place in Detroit. So we thought this would be the perfect time to highlight the revolutionary breakthroughs in the future of mobility that are happening in our own backyard. We brought together a panel of mobility experts who shed light on U-M’s role in shaping the future of driverless vehicles.

Three U-M faculty members lent their voices to the conversation: Ed Olson (@MichiganEngineering), assistant professor of computer science; Carol Flannagan (@cacflannagan), interim director of UMTRI (the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute); and Anuj Pradhan, UMTRI research scientist. Our panel also included two experts from the industry: Trish Polinski (@trishpolinski), senior vice president of business development and strategy at Xerox, and Erica Klampfl (@ericaklampfl), global mobility solutions manager at Ford.

Our panelists provided critical insight on the enormous societal impact that driverless technology could ultimately have, and on how Mcity could serve as a critical component of mobility research. The conversation quickly picked up traction as auto enthusiasts from around the country tuned in, and spread the word about the chat.

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Over the course of the conversation, #UMichChat generated 650,000 total impressions and an estimated audience of more than 400,000 people. Additionally, our hashtag was the #1 trending topic in the region. These metrics allow us to conclude that our content was both far-reaching and well received.


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In case you missed it, a full archive of the conversation is available on Storify. We hope you’ll join us next month for another great #UMichChat!

This post was written by Sarah Barnitt, #UMSocial intern and Bachelor of Science in Information junior. #StaySocial with her on Twitter and Instagram @sarahbarnitt