Choices and Challenges: Self-driving Cars in the New River Valley

Choices and Challenges is an ongoing public engagement series exploring ethical and social issues created by advances in science and technology. Join us for this free event.

Choices and Challenges, Virginia Tech. This image is the property of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Any other usage requires express written consent.

This image is the property of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Any other usage requires express written consent.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Inn at Virginia Tech*

*Cascades & Drillfield (Technical plenary & Roundtables)
*Lower Quad (Poster session)
*Latham Ballroom B (Main panel & Community dialogue)

Coffee Break The Inn at Virginia Tech third floor

  • 2:00 - 2:15 pm
  • 3:30 - 3:45 pm

Poster Session Lower Quad

  • 1:00 - 5:00 pm

Meet Poster Presenters Lower Quad

  • 2:00 - 2:15 pm
  • 3:30 - 3:45 pm


This event seeks to explore the choices we still face and the challenges raised by the potential presence of self-driving cars on our roads and in our lives.

While most thinking about and planning for self-driving cars has focused on urban environments, the New River Valley’s mixture of small town and rural communities offers a unique opportunity for exploring a range of questions. Will these vehicles interfere with our privacy? Are they safe, for passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others? Will they undermine existing public transportation options, or expand public transportation into new communities? Will they increase or decrease transportation accessibility for poor communities, the elderly, and the disabled? Will they shift patterns of vehicle ownership? Will they improve traffic or create new problems? Will they require new regulations, and if so, by whom and of what sort? Are they ultimately good or bad for our environment, our communities, and our personal lives? Our Choices and Challenges forum will bring together internationally-recognized experts and the public to discuss these and other important questions.


This Choices and Challenges forum is presented with support from the Department of Science, Technology, and Society (STS), the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS), the Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities Destination Area (IIHCC DA), SAFE-D UTC, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Policy Strategic Growth Area, and the Integrated Security Destination Area.



The Inn at Virginia Tech
901 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, Virginia

From I-81, Exit 118B, take the 460 bypass to Blacksburg. Exit at Prices Fork Road toward Downtown. Travel about a half mile, then turn right on University City Blvd and Price Fork
Road intersection.

Free parking is available in the guest parking lots at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

The Choices and Challenges Project

Co-directors Saul Halfon and Lee Vinsel
Project committee members
Tracy McElroy, Miguel Perez, and Wenwen Zhang
Research associates
Marcia Davitt and Kuan-Hung Lo
Founder and Past Director
Doris T. Zallen

Virginia Tech
Mail Code 0247
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Email: khlo@vt.edu