Keynote Addresses

“Fooling Ourselves: Why Do We Drive Distracted?”

Paul Atchley, PhDPaul Atchley, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Dr. Atchley has been conducting research and teaching about cognitive factors related to driving for over 20 years. He is currently on faculty at the University of Kansas. Dr. Atchley received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in 1996 and completed postdoctoral training at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois in 1998.

Dr. Atchley has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on issues of vision and attention including their relationship to driving. He has also received awards for his research, teaching and student advising.

Dr. Atchley’s work has been highlighted by national and international press such as the BBC, NPR, Rock Center, “Katie” with Katie Couric, and the New York Times. He is part of efforts at all levels to reduce distracted driving.

Dr. Atchley works with groups including the National Safety Council, LifeSavers, FocusDriven and the We Save Lives to provide clear, compelling and consistently well-received talks about the science of distracted driving.

In addition to his work on distracted driving, Dr. Atchley works and is available to speak on the cognitive costs of technology immersion.

Paul Atchley, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
University of Kansas
Office: 785-864-9803

“The Evolution of Autonomous Driving”

Dr. Bharat BalasubramanianDr. Bharat Balasubramanian

Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian (Dr. B.) is currently a Professor and the Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies (CAVT), a cross disciplinary research center focused on automotive innovation at The University of Alabama. In 2012, he retired as the vice president of group research and advanced engineering at Daimler in Stuttgart, Germany, responsible for product innovations and process technologies. Prior to this, Dr. Balasubramanian worked for nearly 40 years as a research and development engineer for the Mercedes-Benz brand, also in Stuttgart. Dr. Balasubramanian has been at the forefront of most of the major advances that have occurred in automotive technology over the past 20 years.

A native of India, Dr. Balasubramanian began his career in the automotive industry after graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology. He began working with Daimler in 1974 and earned both his master’s degree and doctorate while employed there. He began as a computational analysis engineer in the department for automatic transmissions and power steering systems. In 1988, he was named chief engineer and in 1997 became the vice president for engineering technologies in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car research and development. Nine years later he was named vice president of Daimler/Mercedes-Benz research and advanced engineering, responsible for 1,300 engineers in Germany and 1,000 more in international research and development locations. A recent innovation Dr. Balasubramanian helped develop is Magic Body Control, a feature of the current series of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class that uses cameras to scan the road profile ahead. He also led research in innovations for advanced driver assistance systems and active safety.

Besides his work at Daimler, he taught for 20 years at the Technical University of Berlin in the School of Automotive Engineering and Railway Technology and, in 1998, was named honorary professor. Dr. Balasubramanian is married, with two daughters and one granddaughter. He is an avid volleyball player, a passionate railroad modeler, and a big trains photographer.

Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian
Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Vehicle Technologies
The University of Alabama
Phone: 205-348-4319

"Take Charge"

Tyler Lueckenhoff

Tyler Lueckenhoff is a high-energy, extremely motivated individual who has spoken to many different groups and schools over the last 11 years. Tyler’s background includes a career in teaching as well as athletic coaching. He is constantly working with individuals ranging from age 12 and up.

Tyler’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, team building, small and large group speaking, and professional development. He has worked with numerous middle schools, high schools, and colleges on a variety of different topics. He has worked with adults, teachers, students, Para educators, as well as high school and college athletes.

Tyler has been involved in Team Spirit, a MODOT program, for the last 11 years. The aim of Team Spirit is to bring awareness to road safety through a set of summer conferences, one-day workshops, and a Reunion and Exposition. Tyler has held many roles with this program from Facilitator and Cluster Coordinator to his current position of Upfront and Workshop Presenter.

Tyler is originally from Jefferson City, Missouri, but currently resides in Atchison, Kansas. He is a 2012 graduate of Benedictine College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. He is currently an 8th grade Special Education teacher for the USD 409 School District. In addition to his teaching duties, he is an Assistant Football Coach at Benedictine College in charge of the defensive line. While playing at Benedictine College, he was a four-year letter winner and named to HAAC All Conference team three times in his position at defensive line.