An All-Electric Future

Dr. Dean Bushey, Vice President, Global Social Innovation Business, Hitachi joined Grayson Brulte on The Road To Autonomy Podcast to discuss an all-electric vehicle future.

The conversation begins with Dean discussing his 25-year career in the United States Air Force and his first-hand experience with unmanned aircraft.

When you fly a drone, you actually get combat hours.

– Dr. Dean Bushey

From military applications of unmanned aircraft to civilian applications, Grayson asks Dean his thoughts on the consumer drone market. It’s an exciting market with a lot of use cases.

If you look at a drone it’s a platform that holds a sensor and the sensor is what makes it sexy. Whether it’s a camera used in photography, a camera used in mapping. A sensor used to measure the depth of water at a mining facility.

– Dr. Dean Bushey

Shifting the conversation to Hitachi, Grayson asks Dean how Hitachi is evolving as a business with a strong focus on an ESG future. As part of this focus, Hitachi is focused on the societal conversion from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.

In order to achieve a successful conversion to electric vehicles, companies need a plan. A plan is needed for the vehicles, energy grids, maintenance solutions, and infrastructure. Dean breaks down what a plan looks like and what is needed to start the electric vehicle planning process. The key to the planning process is optimization.

Currently, there is no optimized way to pay for electric vehicle charging when you travel unless you drive a Tesla as there is a standardized payment solution.

When there is a standardized payment solution it will have to be:

Convenient, seamless, and secure.

– Dr. Dean Bushey

Staying on the security theme, Grayson asks Dean what can be done to secure an electric vehicle when the vehicle is connected to the energy grid and charging.

We need to recognize that it is a critical infrastructure piece. If you are plugging into the grid and you are operating a vehicle based on your charge down the highway it becomes a national safety concern.

– Dr. Dean Bushey

As society moves towards an all-electric vehicle, Grayson and Dean discuss major obstacles that might slow down the adoption of electric vehicles. To make an all-electric future a reality, it has to be convenient.

A big concern, one that you are already seeing — supply chain disruption is going to be a big one.

– Dr. Dean Bushey

Supply chain disruptions extend from the chip shortage to the mineral supply chain. Similar to the electric vehicle industry, the autonomous vehicle industry is facing similar supply chain issues. The future of electrification and autonomy will overlap in the coming years as the technology and hardware mature.

The emerging industries of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles will create new high-paying jobs. Grayson and Dean discuss the new jobs that will be created as autonomous vehicles and trucks scale.

In the future, these vehicles will be electric and they will have to be optimally charged and integrated into the fleet. The question is how? Dean discusses how delivery fleets can optimize their charging times based on delivery routes.

Wrapping up the conversation, Dean shares his thoughts on the mobility trends he sees emerging in 2022.

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Recorded on Tuesday, November 9, 2021.