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Padmasree Warrior, The Future of Cars

The mission statement says it all: “The future is in smart, electric and autonomous vehicles, and we aim to lead the way.” When a statement like that comes from a company like NIO, which is led by a person like Padmasree Warrior, you simply have to take notice.

We certainly take notice, and you will too, particularly after you’ve had the chance to engage directly with Padmasree Warrior during our next Udacity Talks episode!

RSVP today for Udacity Talks with Padmasree Warrior on Friday, January 27 at 1:30pm PDT!

From Cisco to NIO

Even a cursory look at Padmasree’s background reveals a staggering list of accomplishments, but what is probably most compelling about her biography is her current role, and the fact that she took it in the first place.

You may wonder why someone twice-honored by Forbes with inclusion on their “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list would depart the companies that led to her being so-recognized, to enter the world of self-driving cars. Anticipating the question, Padmasree described her reasoning last year in a post entitled Why I left Cisco to build an Electric Vehicle, in which she described the transition as an opportunity: “to rethink an entire industry as the physical mobility platform (the vehicle) converges with the digital mobility platform (the mobile Internet).” She stated her belief that, “in the next decade, the car will be the smartest device that people will own,” and made very clear she is deeply inspired by this idea.

Car 3.0

Her vision for this future has coalesced around the idea of what she terms “Car 3.0.”

“Car 3.0 will be a robot that looks like a high-performance car. The future is not really about driving, it is about being, and that is the power of the Car 3.0. In the future cars will give us freedom with our time, they won’t imprison us for hours at a time on roads.”

One can see this vision becoming one with NIO’s mission in statements like this one, from the company’s website:

“The automotive industry is on the cusp of profound change. We believe it isn’t just products and technology that must change; it is how people use these products, and their entire ownership experience.”

The Future of Cars

The company’s mission goes well beyond just technology and the vehicles that transport us through the modern world. There is a serious philosophical thread running through how NIO approaches this transformative technology, with emphasis on the “transformative”:

“In the past, cars gave people the freedom of mobility. In the future, cars will go one step further and free people from driving, giving them the freedom of time. It’s a future we’re excited to shape.”

We are so excited to welcome Padmasree to Udacity Talks, and the thought of experiencing an unscripted dialogue taking place in real time between Padmasree Warrior and Sebastian Thrun—a dialogue powered by questions from our community—is almost too good to imagine.

Udacity Talks

Please RSVP today, and we’ll send you a link to submit your questions. The event is scheduled for Friday, January 27 at 1:30pm PDT. If you’re interested in the future of self-driving cars, sustainable transportation, and a rapidly-emerging technology that is poised to dramatically impact our world for the better, then don’t miss this opportunity to engage directly with two of the most influential voices in the field: our guest Padmasree Warrior, and host Sebastian Thrun.
We’ll see you at Udacity Talks!

Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins
Christopher Watkins is Senior Writer and Chief Words Officer at Udacity. He types on a MacBook or iPad by day, and either an Underwood, Remington, or Royal by night. He carries a Moleskine everywhere.