An Independent School • Grades 5-12

Daniel Kan ’05

Co-Founder, Chief Product Officer | Cruise Self-Driving Automobiles

July 2020

by Jim Collins

The Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Lakeside magazine featured "The Futurists," a gallery of forward-looking alums who, unconstrained by current assumptions, offer a view from outside the box.

BACKGROUND // Entrepreneur, co-founded EXEC (an on-demand house cleaning service), degrees in economics and psychology.

HIS QUESTION // How do you solve for the inefficiencies in a transportation system that has a billion parking spaces for 250 million cars, and cars are in use just 10% of the time? How do you make safer a system that currently has 40,000-traffic related deaths each year?

THE WORK // Co-founder of Cruise Automation, developer of autonomous vehicle technology, which was acquired by General Motors for $1B in 2016.

THE FUTURE // Once human beings are out of the equation, self-driving cars will remove the inefficiency from the system, leading to cleaner air, more green space and wider sidewalks replacing current road widths, cheaper transportation costs, and dramatically fewer car-related injuries and deaths.

IN HIS WORDS // “The breakthrough will occur when people accept cars with no drivers — no co-pilots, no backups. Until this happens, we’re still in R&D. Once this happens, it will be about scale.”