Carnegie Mellon University

Raj Rajkumar Debate

Impact Debate: Autonomous Vehicles: Coasting or Crashing

When will autonomous vehicles proliferate on our roads? Are the predominant approaches technically viable to produce an autonomous vehicle that is better than a human driver in the next 10 years? Will autonomous vehicles ever really work, or will they forever be an expensive experiment?

In this event the debaters unpacked two points of view: Mr. Brad Templeton argued that AVs will be mainstream in the next 10 years; while Prof Raj Rajkumar from Carnegie Mellon argued the opposing view.

Dan Levy, Senior Equity Analyst at Barclays, moderated the discussion.

Brad Templeton is founding faculty for Computing & Networks at Singularity University, and Chairman Emeritus and futurist of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading cyberspace civil rights foundation. He is a fellow and former board member of the Foresight Institute He also advised Google's team developing self-driving cars, and writes about such cars at and He also advises Starship on delivery robots and Quanergy in the LIDAR space, plus companies in the micromobilty (scooter), minimobility and e-VTOL (flying car) areas. He founded ClariNet Communications Corp (the world's first "dot-com" company.) He also created rec.humor.funny, and its web site,, the world's longest running blog.

Ragunathan (Raj) Rajkumar is the George Westinghouse Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Rajkumar serves as director of the Metro21: Smart Cities Institute, USDOT Mobility21 National University Transportation Center, USDOT T-SET National University Transportation Center, Real-Time and Multimedia Systems Lab, and co-director of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Connected and Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab (CAD-CRL).

Dan Levy, CFA, is a New York-based Director and senior Equity Research Analyst leading coverage of the U.S. Autos & Mobility industry, where he was a part of the Barclays team from 2012 to 2018. Prior to re-joining Barclays in 2022, he spent four years as a Senior Equity Research Analyst at Credit Suisse, where he led coverage of the U.S. Autos sector, ranking as Runner Up in the Institutional Investor poll each year. He has also spent time at UBS in their Equity Capital Markets group, and at Morgan Stanley in their Private Wealth Management group. He received an AB in History and Economics from the University of Chicago, as well as an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; he is a CFA charterholder.

Mobility Impact Partners hosts a series of debates on the future of mobility to promote intellectual, public discourse around important issues associated with the revolution in transportation. Our format is an Oxford-style debate with protagonists who take opposing sides of an argument, and an expert moderator that poses questions to clarify their positions. We seek to improve our collective understanding of topics critical to our future. See our previous debates at