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University of Michigan

People, Technology and the Future of Mobility

University of Michigan via Coursera


Welcome to the People, Technology, and the Future of Mobility course! This course provides a lay-person’s introduction to some of the major technological innovations currently underway in the mobility space and asks learners to apply a variety of social science concepts to understand the likely social impacts of these technologies. The course is appropriate for learners from all backgrounds and does not require prior training in engineering or social science. The content presented in this course draws on a number of interviews and lectures and was created through a partnership with Siemens. The course also includes an interactive 360 video experience that allows learners to explore the key components of an autonomous vehicle, go on a ride-along in an autonomous car, and learn about new sensing technology we could see in smart cities of today and tomorrow. This course challenges learners to envision mobility of the future that is safer, cleaner, and more equitable. We will examine recent technological advances, as well as the socio-economic and policy implications, of two major evolving mobility-related technology spaces: electrification and automation.


  • Week 1: Course Introduction and Background
    • In Week 1 of the course, we'll lay out some of the basic concepts that we’ll be working with throughout the course, concepts like Mobility, Electrification & Automation
  • Week 2: Electrification—The Basic Technologies (Part 1)
    • In week 2, we'll start talking about electrification. What is the state-of-the-art technology, in terms of batteries and other features of the vehicles themselves.
  • Week 3: Electrification—The Basic Technologies (Part 2)
    • In week 3, we'll continue our discussion of electrification, shifting our focus from batteries to the electricity infrastructure that will support electric vehicles. We'll also think about stakeholders and different perspectives on electrification.
  • Week 4: Electrification—The Impacts
    • What impacts will electrification have on human lives (environment, economy, health) from a sustainability and equity perspective?
  • Week 5: Vehicle Automation—The Basic Technologies
    • What is automation and what role does it play in the automotive and transportation sectors?
  • Week 6: Automation—The Impacts
    • What impacts will automation have on human lives (environment, economy, health) from equity and safety perspectives?

Taught by

Elisabeth Gerber


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 657 ratings

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