Prospecting the Coming Automotive Revolution
One of the four core themes of the 2017 Frontiers in Optics meeting — optics and photonics in the automotive sector — was fully on display on the Tuesday morning of the conference.
Kicking off the day in a plenary talk, Jason Eichenholz, the cofounder and CTO of Luminar Technologies, USA, took audience members on a tour of the advanced lidar technologies necessary to make the autonomous-vehicle dream a reality. And Eichenholz joined two other attendees, Anthony McDaniel, with the technical staff of Sandia National Laboratories, and John D’Ambrosia, the chair of The Ethernet Alliance, in a spirited discussion of the promise of, and challenges for, cutting-edge automotive technology.
From "Feet-off" to "Mind-off" Systems
In his plenary talk, Eichenholz noted that the answer to the question “when will we have self-driving cars” depends on the specifics of the question. “Self-driving” can mean anything from “feet-off” vehicles in which the car’s systems handle basic acceleration and braking without human intervention, all the way to fully automated (“mind-off”) systems or even completely autonomous vehicles with no driver at all. Eichenholz’s company, Luminar, is, he said, focusing on the latter two schemes, evoking a vision of future vehicles that can, by any reasonable measure, completely drive themselves at least as well as humans can — and eventually far better.
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Today's Visionary Speakers
08:00 – 08:45
A new addition to the Technical Conference: Visionary Speakers come from within and beyond the optics and photonics community — each equipped to provide insight into advances related to the conference themes.
Complimentary coffee and pastries will be served near the International Ballroom, 7:00 – 08:00.
An Advocacy Special Event
The “Rush Hour”: A Science Policy Talk
Wednesday, 20 September: 09:00 – 10:00, Georgetown East
Rush Holt, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), USA
What Does a Scientist Owe Policymakers?
At a time when there are widespread concerns about the place of science in our society and government, we should consider: What is the obligation of a scientist, engineer, or technologist to policymakers? Sometimes, we simply disparage the ill-founded pronouncements of politicians, decisions producing inadequate funding for research, or regulations hampering research, when instead we might ask what we can do to help avoid such short-sighted actions.
Coffee and pastries will be served at 08:45.
Other Special Events for Wednesday
Congressional Fellowship Information Session
12:00 – 13:00, Science Showcase Theater, Columbia
OSA cosponsors two Congressional Fellows each year. This program enables PhD scientists and engineers to spend one year working for a U.S. member of Congress or Congressional Committee. Hear from a past Congressional Fellow and consider applying for the fellowship.
Meet the APS Journal Editors Reception
15:30 – 17:00, International Terrace, Terrace Level
The editors of the Physical Review journals will be available to answer questions, hear your ideas and discuss any comments about the journals. Light refreshments available.
Networking with the OSA Biomedical Optics Technical Groups
18:30 – 20:00, OSA Headquarters
Attend this happy hour networking event, which provides researchers working within biomedical optics with the opportunity to meet and learn from fellow attendees in adjoining fields. Refreshments provided.