WEBINAR: Clear Skies, Quiet Nights: How Autonomous Vehicle Technology Can Reduce Urban Air and Noise Pollution

Graphic rendering of connected AVs on a city street.

SAFE’s Center for Automated Transportation Technology held a thought-provoking webinar for the release of new research on the intersection of transportation technology, urban pollution, and quality of life in disadvantaged communities. “Clear Skies, Quiet Nights: How Autonomous Vehicle Technology Can Reduce Urban Air and Noise Pollution” explores the profound impact of air and noise pollution on the lives of urban residents, going beyond inconvenience to presenting a pressing equity issue that can be meaningfully addressed with electric shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs).  New research in a case study by SAFE’s Dr. Allanté Whitmore found that even modest deployment of this technology over the next 10 years will meaningfully reduce air and noise pollution—especially in disadvantaged communities, where these impacts are often disproportionately concentrated. 

In addition to discussing Dr. Whitmore’s research, this panel of experts, moderated by Tara Andringa, Executive Director of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), offered diverse insights, perspectives, and policy solutions that can pave the way for cleaner and healthier urban environments. 


Watch the recording: 



Moderator: Tara Andringa, Executive Director, Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE)

Tara Andringa headshotTara Andringa is the Executive Director of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), a nonprofit coalition focused on engaging with the public about automated vehicles and their potential to improve the safety, mobility and sustainability of our transportation system. Ms. Andringa has led the group since its public launch in January 2019.

Ms. Andringa has more than 25 years of experience in communications, policy and coalition management. Prior to joining PAVE, Ms. Andringa spent two decades as a communications director in the United States Senate, managing public relations for a U.S. Senate office and several Senate committees, including the Senate Auto Caucus.

Ms. Andringa received her B.A. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.


Regan F. Patterson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

Headshot of Dr. Ragan Patterson

Dr. Regan F. Patterson is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles and the PI of the Engineering Environmental Justice Lab. She was previously the Transportation Equity Research Fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington, DC and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. Dr. Patterson earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Her research interests include air quality, sustainable transportation, community engagement, and environmental justice. More specifically, she examines and models the impact of transportation policies and place-based, community-driven interventions on air pollution exposure disparities and environmental justice. 



Nadia Anderson, Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and Strategy, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Nadia AndersonNadia Anderson, Ph.D., is an experienced senior management professional with experience spanning the tech, non-profit, public and private sectors. In her role as SVP, Chief of Staff and Strategy she’ll work directly with the CEO to help execute high-priority programs, projects and initiatives, and provide strategic guidance to SVLG’s senior leadership team.

Dr. Anderson previously led SVLG’s RJE portfolio, and is a government affairs and public policy professional whose resume spans all levels of government, both domestic and international. She earned her doctorate from the University of Delaware and is also an alumna of the University of Virginia and Virginia State University – a Historically Black College located in Petersburg, VA.

Allanté Whitmore, Ph.D., Director of SAFE’s AV Initiative and the Center for Automated Transportation Technology, SAFE

Dr. Allante Whitmore speaking at CW Club in 2022.Dr. Allanté Whitmore is the Director of SAFE’s AV Initiative and the Center for Automated Transportation Technology. Dr. Whitmore holds a joint Ph.D. from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). She brings automated vehicle technology and policy expertise from researching the environmental, equity, economic, and ethical impacts of autonomous vehicles.

During her tenure at CMU, Allanté was awarded multiple fellowships including the K&L Gates Presidential Fellow and Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship. Whitmore proudly serves on the Board of Directors for PAVE – Partners for Automated Vehicle Education.