Miller & Martin Embraces Disruptive Technology in Society and Business

March 11, 2016


Miller & Martin hosted its third “Miller & Martin Mornings” event series with presentations led by Dr. Bernie Carlson, Chair of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia and Dr. Burkhard Huhnke, Vice President of Volkswagen Group of America. Attendees enjoyed a thought-provoking discussion and dialog that addressed the impact of innovative technologies on society and business.

Dr. Carlson discussed the historical perspective of the Crossbow and Pyrex, explaining how each caused disruptions to society. He emphasized that it is more important to understand how innovations change the role and power of groups in society, than to focus on the technology. “If we pay close attention, we can understand the social effects of new technologies relative to business decisions that derive maximum economic benefit while minimizing social disruption,” said Carlson.

Volkswagen has been following this ideology for years, preparing for the shift to autonomous vehicles through its commitment to ongoing research and testing of these driverless-cars “Ninety-one percent of automobile accidents are caused by human error,” stated Huhnke. “By developing the innovation to avoid these mistakes, we can save millions of lives.” The accomplishments VW has made are remarkable, but the greatest challenge comes in identifying how this new technology will disrupt society, shifts in economic demands, infrastructure changes needed to operate these automobiles, changes to insurance and regulatory laws.

After the presentation by Dr. Bernie Carlson and Burkhard Huhnke, our special guest, Senator Bob Corker, addressed the audience on foreign and domestic current events.

"Miller & Martin Mornings: Fresh Takes on Issues that Keep us up at Night." The series draws from the firm's 149 years of experience and a practice that spans more than 35 areas of law. It provides in depth discussions around trending topics of the moment which present challenges for those in business leadership roles.