"Technology Takes the Wheel" workshop Nov. 13 on campus

A new series of seminars focused on the future of autonomous vehicles kicks off 8 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the auditorium of Williamson Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University.

The free “Technology Takes the Wheel” seminars explore autonomous vehicles and their potential societal impacts and is co-sponsored by DriveOhio, the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments and AAA East Central.

Jeff Herrmann of the Business Journal will moderate, with talks by Jennifer Ryan, AAA’s director of State Relations; Dave Hobbs, senior field trainer/curriculum designer at Delphi Technologies Michigan; and Jim Kinnick, executive director of the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments.

In addition, an autonomous vehicle is expected to be on display outside Williamson Hall, courtesy of Sweeney.

Register online at https://forms.gle/2BHhQ7Hn292pUxqV6. Registration deadline is Nov. 8. Parking is available for $5 in the Lincoln Avenue parking deck at the corner of Fifth and Lincoln avenues, with entrance o­ Fifth Avenue, or the Wick Deck on­ Wick Avenue.

Autonomous vehicle technology is part of a recent $10.8 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant awarded to partners along the SMART2 corridor in Youngstown. The project that calls for major infrastructure upgrades along the corridor, including Fifth Avenue through the YSU campus, includes deploying autonomous vehicles, likely in 2021.

Mike Hripko, YSU associate vice president of External Affairs, Government Relations, and Economic Development, said there is a rapidly emerging demand for technology experts who can design and program autonomous vehicles and related technologies such as unmanned aircraft, aka drones. The new technology also will require a new breed of automotive service technicians, with expertise in repair, calibration and maintenance, he said.