SEMA Education: Advanced Vehicle Technology Panel

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LAS VEGAS, Nov. 6, 2019—SEMA’s education sessions continued Wednesday with a panel on Advanced Vehicle Technology: Practice, Policy and Challenges. 

The panel was led by John Waraniak, vice president of vehicle technology at SEMA; Luis Morales, a mechanical engineer for SEMA and Chan Lieu, a former director of governmental affairs at NHTSA and policy safety advisor. 

Waraniak kicked off the panel with a video that showed the progression of motor vehicles and how the need for speed set a trend in the industry and how that’s changed as today’s customers want safer vehicles that are still “cool.” It’s no longer enough to be the fastest, Warniak says. Consumers want fast, cool and safe. 

Ensuring a safe vehicle is more difficult than ever, with the average vehicle having an average of between 50–100 million lines of code—more than a commercial airlines, Waraniak says. 

Why does this matter for a product developer like Morales? 

“When you’re installing a product, you want to make sure it’s still going to function as it’s supposed to,” Morales says. 

Morales discussed the different products that are being developed to help ensure the safety of these vehicles, including what needs to be done to repair them correctly in the case of a collision. One of these is the Tech Transfer Program that's available through a partnership with I-CAR, which allows users the ability to narrow down a vehicle and find information on when and why to calibrate and also, which ADAS features could have been affected in the process. 

Lieu closed the panel by discussing the different measures Uber is taking with its self-driving vehicles—its Self-Driving Safety Case Framework. Uber needs a structured argument to be able to say a vehicle is safe based on evidence. 

For more on Uber’s Safety Case Framework, visit  

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