Dan currently is an Adjunct Professor of Transportation Design at a world leading car design school; College for Creative Studies, in Detroit Michigan.
Dan is a seminal car designer focused on creating the most amazing cities with new mobility. He is an expert on right-sizing transportation and micro-mobility vehicles, which offer to make cities wonderful and extremely efficient. Interested in intermediate-size vehicles since 1985, Dan designed the first Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) and launched the company to build it. His NEV has become a new vehicle category, and the most popular low-speed electric vehicle in the world. To foster a sea-change in micro-mobility; Dan also works as an educator, journalist, speaker, and conference developer promoting smart & sensible mobility solutions.
Dan is able to think beyond traditional transportation modes and models, to design not only vehicles but entire systems that can evolve urban mobility from its current auto-dependent, monolithic state to something much more dynamic, diverse, and sustainable.
Dan’s new model of a metropolitan mobility region, comprised of a network of city or town centers, neighborhoods, and other zones for micro-mobility use, connected by various types of inter-zone transit has yet to be built. Dan has a sober understanding of what it’s going to take to evolve our transportation systems and cities to a more sustainable, nature and human friendly model.
Today Dan is a holistic mobility designer connected to many diverse yet essential professional domains for creating meaningful urban mobility solutions. Dan enjoys having working relationships with automotive and public transit vehicle manufacturers, technology companies, UI/UX designers, new autonomous vehicle start-ups, advanced transit manufacturers, light + low-speed vehicle manufacturers, metropolitan planning organizations, city department of transportation departments, public transit agencies, real estate + community developers, architects, urban planners, community design firms, transportation research, planning + engineering, and top eco-advocacy firms.
MICRO-MOBILITY + NEW CITY
Since 2012, Dan has been focusing on the potential design for a new city, town, or community. MIT Media Lab became interested in capillary communities in 2008, and envisioned cities that parked automobiles at the city edge, and used smaller forms of mobility inside. Given the zero-emissions and very small size nature of micro-mobility vehicles, Dan began to think how the vehicles could travel not only outside on the street, but into buildings (of various types) as well. Dan sees significant potential for creating amazing new cities that deeply integrate micro-mobility vehicles with urban design + architecture to become the most ecological, wonderful, and affordable places to live. This offers to enable much larger “car-free” zones in upcoming cities, allow people of all ages (and conditions) to have superior mobility, and activate all-new hyper-flexible and multi-locational living possibilities as well.
GEM CAR INVENTOR
Dan is resilient and has proved he knows how to take an idea to fruition. Creating the first NEV was a challenging effort. Dan’s NEV was developed with an extremely low tooling budget, and his vehicle enjoys 90% of the market share for the past 20 years (and going). It was a catalyst to Ford, Bombardier, and over a dozen Asian NEV manufacturers getting into the market. Today Dan’s NEV is owned by Polaris Industries and branded the Global Electric Motorcar (GEM). The effort allowed Dan to interface with town and transportation planners as early as 1993, and to begin thinking of simultaneous light vehicle + travel corridor design, as well as new city / community designs.
In the multi-mobility space, Dan worked for frogdesign, University of California, Institute of Transportation Studies, CALSTART (+Federal Transit Agency), Team Red, Tony Hsieh's Project 100, Swift Tram, Yangfen, Chipotle, Fehr & Peers, Urban Carshare, Bruce Mau Design, South Bay Cities Council of Governments, and is a key advisor to smart carpool company SPLT.
Dan’s work with new community developers includes; Disney Celebration, Playa Vista, CA, Rancho Mission Viejo CA, Stanly Ranch (Napa CA), Rocky Mountain Institute, and with Glen Small (SCI-Arc co-founder).
Dan has supported mobility-related education programs at; University of California A.UD (IDEAS), University of Minnesota DESIGN CAMP, Art Center (workshops), Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and John Hopkins University.
Dan has spoke at numerous conferences since 1991. In 2004 he produced his own “Going” conference, with numerous national city + mobility leaders flying in to speak. In 2014, Dan supported the Natural Resource Defense Council's development of their first Live, Ride, Share green mobility conference.
Dan served on the United States Transportation Research Board's committee on New Public Transit Systems & Technologies (AP040) for 10 years.
Dan has been profiled in Wired Magazine, Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review and Automobile Magazine. ID Magazine named Dan 1 of the top forty designers in the United States. Popular Science named Dan as one of seven transportation future visionaries that will change the automobile as we know it.