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Auto Technology: Effects on Current and Future Economies

AEPP podcast featuring a former President and current Board member of the AAEA

Cars have made great stride in the recent past. It’s only been about 19 years since Toyota released its hybrid car, the Prius. This then lead to Bluetooth in the car, back up cameras, Automatic parking, driver assist features, and 5 years ago Tesla introduce autopilot. 2020 is projected to have the first self-driving car. So how will this affect the economy?

In a new podcast based on two Featured Articles from Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, the Managing Editor of AEPP, Craig Gundersen from the University of Illinois spoke with David Zilberman from the University of California, Berkeley as well as and Madhu Khanna from the University of Illinois, These are the authors of, respectively, “The Future of Autonomous Vehicles: Lessons from the literature of Technology Adoption” and “The Future of Biofuels in the Electrifying Global Transportation Sector: Imperative Prospects and Challenges”.

Zilberman says, “Autonomous vehicles will reduce the cost of driving. This is because you would have to put time into driving, or effort into driving, you can spend time doing other things… This will also give younger and seniors the opportunity to own cars, without having to operate it.”

Khanna states that, “the number of electric cars has gown exponentially if you look at the last decade. In part, they are really appealing because they can help to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emission… but accessibility of high speed charging stations, lower vehicle cost and higher battery range are critical to increase their market share. ”

In the meantime, low carbon biofuels offer a promising way to displace fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions from the transportation sector without conflicting with food production. Khanna notes that  “there's considerable capacity to produce more food and fuel from the existing land by increasing crop productivity and by producing biofuels from crop residues and energy crops grown on low quality land.”

If you are interested in listening to the podcast visit:

To speak with either of the authors featured in the podcast, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190