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Ann Arbor Spark

A2 Mobility Tech Meetup | The Big Yellow Bus: Too Big for its Own Good Redesigning the K-12 Transportation System

Wednesday, June 08 2022 at 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Between long travel times, congested drop off areas, safety challenges and emissions concerns, school districts face critical transportation challenges, which represents an opportunity for modernization, including fleet electrification.

In this virtual event, Fleet Lab Chief Optimization Officer, Eric Petersen, will explain how Fleet Lab’s system will enable districts to cut emissions while saving money on vehicle costs, fuel costs and maintenance costs. Additionally, he will discuss how Fleet Lab will help address the extreme bus driver shortages facing districts today, eliminate hazardous bus stops on the side of busy roads, and slash student travel times, which can be up to four hours per school day.

The conversation continues with Carol Flannagan, research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Institute (UMTRI) and director of the Center for the Management of Information for Safe and Sustainable Transportation, as well as Sean Jorgensen, president of St Mary’s Catholic Central High School in Monroe, MI to discuss real world learnings from Fleet Lab’s deployment of its Community Optimized Student Transportation system in three Michigan school districts this spring.


4:00 – 4:05: Introduction

4:05 – 4:15: Overview of Fleet Lab

4:15 – 4:35: Panel Discussion – Real world learnings from deployment of community optimized student transportation

4:35 – 4:55: Networking in breakout rooms

4:55 – 5:00: Conclusion

About our Speakers

Eric Petersen is the founder and Chief Optimization Officer of Fleet Lab. Eric’s background is in vehicle safety engineering and energy & transportation technology commercialization. He has worked for three major car companies and has worked with many mobility and clean energy startups as the Director of the state-sponsored, Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Innovation Hub for Advanced Mobility. He has also worked as an adjunct instructor and industry mentor for NSF Innovation Corps “Inventions to Impact” programs.

Eric has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UM – Dearborn and an M.B.A. from the UM Ross School of Business. He has founded and developed one other startup company that provided custom drone systems for emergency responders.

Carol Flannagan is a research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), as well as the director of the Center for the Management of Information for Safe and Sustainable Transportation (CMISST). She has over 25 years of experience conducting data analysis and addressing research questions related to transportation and mobility. Dr. Flannagan’s research has been sponsored by federal agencies including FHWA, NHTSA and FMCSA, state agencies including the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and the Michigan Department of Transportation, vehicle manufacturers including General Motors and Ford, the insurance industry, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), among others.

Sean Jorgensen is the president of St Mary Catholic Central High School in Monroe, MI. His capacity as president is one of leadership, planning, vision, external affairs, advancement, and financial stewardship. Under his direction, SMCC has developed a number of innovative education initiatives aimed at being a national leader in integrating technology and learning, as well as developing new partnerships and models of operations aimed at enhancing the student’s educational experience.