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What will future of auto industry look like? Expert will address challenges of technology

To RSVP for the Feb. 11 Good Morning Livingston, contact the chamber at 517.546.3920 or e-mail jwillsmore@howell.org. Members can register online at howell.org. The cost for the breakfast event is $20 for members in advance or $25 at the door, and $30 for non-members.


Dr. David E. Cole

Technological advances in the auto industry are dizzying. With crash-avoidance systems and cars that park themselves, can driverless vehicles and other Jetson-esque innovations be far behind?

Technology is upending the auto industry, requiring leaders with a skill set unlike those necessary just a decade ago.

If anyone knows what the future of the auto industry might hold, it will be internationally know auto industry expert David E. Cole, who will talk about “The Auto Future: Fast and Furious” at the Feb. 11 Good Morning Livingston program at The Johnson Center at Cleary University.

Cole’s professional biography is vast.

He is currently the chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in Ann Arbor, and chairman of Auto Harvest, a new organization being developed to facilitate the flow of intellectual property in and out of the auto industry.

He was formerly director of the Office for the Study of Automotive Transportation (OSAT) at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and an engineering professor at the University of Michigan. He’s worked extensively on internal combustion engines, vehicle design, and overall automotive industry trends.

Cole’s recent research has focused on strategic issues related to the restructuring of the international auto industry and trends in globalization, technology, market factors, and human resource requirements.

He is a member of the editorial advisory board of Popular Mechanics and in the summer of 2013, he was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honor.

He is active in the Engineering Society of Detroit and was elected to fellow status in 1990. In 2000, he received the Engineering Society’s highest award, the Horace H. Rackham medal. He is also a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and was elected to fellow grade in 2009.  In 1993, he received the National Automobile Dealers Association Foundation’s International Freedom of Mobility Award.

He’s received Sweden’s Order of the Polar Star, and the Chevalier of the National Order of Merit from France.

He was formerly a member of the Energy Engineering Board of the National Research Council, the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Pact Select Panel and the Michigan Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board.   He is also director of three automotive-related companies.

Cole was formerly a member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Renewable Fuels Commission. He was named a co-chair of Detroit Renaissance’s “Road to Renaissance” Project in the fall of 2006.

At the University of Michigan he is a member of the Energy Research Council, Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board and the Biological Station Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the Denso Foundation Board and recently was appointed to the Business Development Committee of Ann Arbor SPARK. Cole was formerly a director of the Automotive Hall of Fame and the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and formerly a member of the Board of Trustees of Hope College.

Cole has been and is actively involved in the start-up of nine different Ann Arbor-based companies.  His technical and policy consulting experience includes a variety of assignments for industry, labor, and government and he has spoken to more than 1000 different groups on automotive issues.

He received his B.S.M.E. and Mathematics, M.S.M.E. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and an honorary doctorate from Cleary University.

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