TechBlick 03 - Ali [EN]

Do you currently own a car?

Yes, yes.

Which kind of car is it?

So it’s actually. Interesting. It’s a all kind internal combustion engine. One of the areas, you know, I actually changed my car last year and I was looking to get a hybrid. At least the wait for it was several months. It was not available. And so as a result, you know, because of the usage we had, we needed the family couldn’t wait for. Or that to get it on time. But that’s one of the factors. One of the areas we look at is, of course electrical calls personally as a family. But when you travel there is a the whole infrastructure needed and not everywhere is the same. I don’t know how is the infrastructure for, you know, recharge and so on. In some places such as California is very good. Some places like near us is not as widespread. But I think the minimum is this how you can do in term of the the move, at least in the right direction with hybrids and so on? Yeah.

What personal or professional experience have you had with electronics in cars you have used?

Well, I think the one that we used all these days is connecting your smartphone to the car. I mean, that makes it easy for navigating, make it easy for get the calls and so on. Things have improved quite a bit. I think the software part of it, how to set it up. I think the other area kind of enjoy is this smart lighting that has been quite well, and more recently, all of the assistive technology, when you are, you know, going out of the line and all the warnings, I think safety has improved significantly with the electronics.

Do you have concerns about privacy and personal data stored by car electronics, for example, GPS navigation?

Yeah, this is one of those big boxes that you know, when you buy a car, you have to actually agree quite a few things to use the features. This is an area I think some regulatory body need to look at to see how the data is used. I worry because in principle everything should be used to make the car better, but with the same data you can do much more. And we have seen in history examples that how when things are valuable, people try to make money out of it. I think some oversight is needed. Yes. Yeah.

Are there in your opinion, general concerns about privacy and thinking about circular economy practice?

That’s a good question. I can say, what is the question? You mean how much privacy could affect circular economy? Um, that’s an interesting question. I think one of the areas that I could see that you can have an impact on circular economy and be mindful about privacy is data is aggregated and and there is no way to de-anonymize it. But each person could see what is the distribution of energy usage, the car, you know, performance and the driving habits that affects the that for similar people who are using it. And then how I am because then I can see, oh, why am I in the high tier? I can do something. So I think understanding where we are in a privacy preserving way could be valuable. But of course, if now somebody else has the data and they want to use it for decisions, then I think one has to be careful. I mean, these days insurance companies want to have everything about our driving habits. I think this needs to be carefully watched. Yeah.

Does recycling and reusing means different things to you?

Certainly. Yes, yes. So I think, you know, there are the three R’s, whatever thing that we can make, if we can repurpose it for something else is better if not reusing it with some additions. Last resources recycled because every time recycle for me means you don’t throw away the material and you use it. But still, there’s a lot of embedded energy. And if we can do without, you know, before recycling is more valuable. Yeah.

On a scale of 1 to 5, one means not at all concerned, and five means extremely concerned. How concerned are you about issues of environmental waste and pollution?

I’m five. Five. Yeah. Why? Because I think we can see the impact in our life today. And in our lifespan comparing to, you know, happens to history is a is little. So I worry about what we leave for our children sometimes. You know, we may not see the impact in five years, ten years, but we are not on a really sustainable path with our planet. And and I think, you know, we have been living on this planet, I mean, humans, for hundreds of thousands of years, but at least civilization has been around for 10,000 years, and every generation had a minor impact. But our scale is so much that we can really, if we are not careful, deplete resources. And we have already big pollution problems. Microplastic. We have greenhouses. That’s all. Of it. Studies.

What, if any, actions do you take in your life to promote sustainability?

That’s interesting. You know, as a university professor, one of them, even though my background is in the area of semiconductor physics and so on, I realized there is a lot of interest by students. So I actually took part with a couple of professors to start a new program in sustainable engineering and renewable energies. Working with young people, teaching them about some of the availability is very important. The other part of it is this learning cannot be just theoretical. Let me give you some facts and then you forget how you bring it to student’s life. So this is again another area I was active. We developed some home energy audit for students who could themselves see how each of them did water consumptions, energy and so on. During a whole week we had a couple of summer program teams. We brought students from Denmark and California. At the time, I was at University of California in Santa Cruz, and these type of international program are very helpful because students learn a lot from each other, and everything has been focused on sustainability.

Last question, how much responsibility does each individual have, in your opinion, to make the lifestyle and consumer choices that help protect the environment?

I mean, we have the full responsibility. Sometimes we are not as thoughtful and we say we don’t have options and we just go as it is. I think by sharing more, what are some of the best practices? A lot each one of us can do. There have been a lot of visibility and interest in this area, but. I think, you know. Like I was mentioning, very pragmatic, okay, I need to buy a car, okay, what is available and so on. These are parameters there that happens. But even okay, if I have a car, how often should I use it? Should I what can I minimize? I mean you still have the choice if it’s needed, if it’s possible to take public transport, even if it’s a little less convenient. And I think these are conscious decisions we can make.

Okay. Thank you very much.

Thank you for your.