Past Event

Prachi Vakharia - Autonomous Vehicles: State of Tech and Policy

November 9, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Warren Hall (Room 311), Columbia University, 1125 Amsterdam Avenue, New York

Event Description:

Mobility Futures is excited to present a keynote lecture from Prachi Vakharia on the tech, engineering standards, and regulatory frameworks that are enabling testing and deployment of connected, autonomous vehicles. Introductory remarks by Kathy Zhang, founder of Mobility Futures.

Mobility Futures is an initiative at Columbia's Center for Sustainable Urban Development examining how new transportation technologies (including connected, automated, shared, and electric mobility options) are reshaping cities, and how proactive policies can create more sustainable and equitable transportation systems.

Join us after the lecture at Mobility Future's mixer at Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor (1135 Amsterdam Avenue) from 5pm-6pm!

Event Speakers:

Prachi Vakharia lives and works in Washington DC, where she works on Autonomous Vehicles, V2X technologies, digital and shared mobility projects in DC, NY, and LA. Previously, she worked with the World Bank and mentored startup companies — 3 of which were acquired by Daimler AG (German automaker of Mercedes Benz) for $100 million in a single deal on a single day. Prachi also chairs 3 committees for the National Academies of Sciences Transport Research Board, and was approached by SAE last year to serve as the first Global Chairperson for the development of new worldwide Digital & Shared Mobility Standards with SAE. Beyond her work in transportation, Prachi also established, funded and serves as Manager Director of a foundation, Womanium, one of the most unique Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship organisations in USA that has worked with NASA, ARPA-E, NIH, Amazon, PARC, Industries, etc. for women’s advancement in STEM+Entrepreneurship in domains ranging from Energy, Space, Astronomy, Computational Neuroscience, Industrial Additive Manufacturing, Automation, Transportation to Nuclear Weapons Safety. Last year, in 2017, Prachi Vakharia gave away 177 Scholarships through Womanium to students in 42 countries – including 11 from Columbia University, for Space, Energy and Neuroscience.

Kathy Zhang is a researcher at the Center for Sustainable Urban Development, where she founded "Mobility Futures," an initiative examining how to leverage new transportation technologies (including connected, automated, shared, and electric mobility options) and policies toward a more sustainable and equitable transportation system. Additionally, she leads operations, programming, and strategic growth as the Associate Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, a research center at Columbia University focused on emerging technology in media. Previously, she managed communications and youth engagement at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a policy advisory group to the United Nations. She was the founding director of the Sustainability Media Lab, a Columbia initiative working to make sustainable development more accessible, relevant, and compelling across all media. Kathy holds a Master of International Affairs with a focus on Urban & Tech Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Development, both from Columbia University.

Event Information:

This event is free and open to the public, though RSVP is required. Please contact [email protected] with any questions. 

Mobility Futures is generously supported by the Center for Science and Society.