About Us

The Autonomer Group was founded by Greg Rogers and Patrick Smith in July 2016.  The opinions and views expressed through The Autonomer and The Autonomer Group are the opinions of the designated authors and are not meant to represent those of their employers.

Greg Rogers, Co-Founder and Emerging Technologies Editor

Greg is a co-founder of The Autonomer, where he reports on federal policy relating to autonomous vehicles, the sharing economy, and emerging tech.  Greg has worked on both sides of the aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He was previously a registered lobbyist representing clients before Congress on transportation, housing, and technology issues.  In 2015, Greg spent a four month stint living off of the sharing economy as an Uber and Lyft driver. He now works in Business Development at POLITICO and studied Political Economy at UC Berkeley.

 

Patrick Smith, Co-Founder and Transportation Editor

Patrick is a co-founder of The Autonomer, for which he writes about autonomous vehicle technology and policy. With a particular interest in sustainable transit networks, he explores the effects of vehicle automation, smart infrastructure and app-based ridesharing on transportation efficiency, access and affordability. Patrick was a New York City Urban Fellow, and currently works in the urban transportation field. He studied environmental justice and sustainability at UC Berkeley.

 

For further information, please contact us at Greg.Rogers@AutonomerGroup.com or Patrick.Smith@AutonomerGroup.com

 

This Year

In 2016, The Autonomer is focusing on AVision, an exploration of transportation technology centering on autonomous vehicles (AVs), and their political, economic, and social implications.  First widely brought to the public's attention by Google’s self-driving car, AVs are pushing the boundaries of robotics and have the potential to revolutionize the entire realm of transportation.  In the span of a single generation, we have the potential to nearly eliminate car crashes in the United States – saving nearly 33,000 lives per year – and reduce the need for car ownership through alternative models of personal and public transportation, fundamentally reshaping how cities are planned, built and navigated in the process. Their implementation is deeply interconnected with an array of smart transportation innovations, notably vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, and app-enabled ridesourcing and ridesharing, and The Autonomer will cover these subjects as the field develops.

Overview

The Autonomer is an effort to understand automation and its impact on our society, from self-driving cars to assembly line robots to electronic waiters.  As jobs become automated and the need for human labor decreases across capital-intensive industries, the effects of underemployment and unemployment will be entirely in the hands of government and civil society to mitigate.

The Automated Revolution, a name for this widespread automation of labor functions, does not have conscious direction or leadership, but is propelled by human curiosity and our drive to innovate.  Automation promises to save companies money on labor costs, reducing the demand for human labor as increasingly complex tasks are mechanized.  Automated processes will advance the precise use of resources and dramatically increase logistical efficiency in manufacturing, agriculture, and transportation, potentially mitigating some of the causes of climate change and reducing industrial waste. 

As increasingly-complex work is automated, the impacts on human society will be deep and far reaching. People will likely need to find new sources of income by developing new industries, generating value in the remaining gig economy (i.e. Uber/Lyft, AirBnB) where human roles remain, or monetizing their talents in the arts or other creative endeavors.  The same enduring trends away from traditional forms of employment will also eventually call into question prevailing mechanisms and levels of wealth redistribution. We will explore these opportunities for new forms of entrepreneurship, as well as the concept of a basic minimum income, as we analyze the impacts of automation.