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A Look to the Future: Autonomous Vehicle Market Forecasts and Challenges for Validation and Traditional Business Models

James A. Popio, Ph.D.
Vice President, Smithers Rapra


Autonomous vehicle technology has been evolving quickly over the past several years as OEMs and Tier suppliers continue to research solutions to the ultimate goal of self-driving vehicle.  Predicting its impact on the automotive industry and all of the sub-segments —including requirements for tires — is critical for suppliers.  Based on research from its new market reports, The Future of Autonomous Vehicles and the Impact on Tire Markets to 2026 as well as The Future of Intelligent Tires to 2015, Smithers Rapra outlines the state-of-the-art technology, key technical challenges and forecasts market developments what will determine the future of autonomous vehicles and the tire industry.  Dr. Popio will also discuss how these market changes could affect validation methodologies and traditional tire industry business models.


Dr. Jim Popio has worked in the tire and rubber industry for over 20 years and has spent his professional career working for and with tire manufacturers, tire dealers, automotive OEMs, industry suppliers, manufacturers, standards organizations and government agencies.  Dr. Popio has extensive experience in tire performance, characterization, and methods development.  His specific areas of expertise include force and moment, endurance, aging, compliance, indoor wear, rolling resistance, and characterization for modeling.  Prior to his current role, Jim was the Vice President and General Manager of Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira in the United Kingdom.  He is a regular contributor to industry journals as well as a chair and speaker at major tire and rubber conferences.  Jim has a Ph.D. in engineering and Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Akron.