Futurist, Entrepreneur, and Author
Futurist, Entrepreneur, and Author
Rutt Bridges grew up in South Georgia working on his father's water well drilling rig and building solid and liquid propellant rockets from machined steel and dangerous chemicals. He earned a BS in physics and an MS in geophysical sciences from Georgia Tech, during which time he worked for the Geophysical Sciences Department and Engineering Experiment Station. Rutt currently serves on Georgia Tech’s College of Sciences Advisory Board, the Securing America’s Energy Future (SAFE) Autonomous Vehicle Task Force, and the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Innovisers Council. Rutt is a past chair of Colorado Public Radio, past vice-chair of the CU Foundation, and has served in a variety of other business and philanthropic roles.
After five years working for Chevron in Houston, he moved to Denver in 1980 and founded Advance Geophysical to develop software for early microcomputers. Advance eventually merged with Landmark Graphics, the largest oil and gas software vendor, and Bridges stayed on as their Chief Technology Officer. He departed when Landmark was acquired by Halliburton and was elected president of the 30,000-member Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
Bridges then founded Colorado's Bighorn Center for Public Policy. Bighorn's goal was "to give Colorado's political middle a credible and legitimate voice in the state's increasingly polarized political landscape." The successful bipartisan Bighorn Leadership Program is now associated with Colorado State University. Bridges briefly ran for U.S. Senate in 2006, but when the incumbent Senator dropped out of the race, he stepped aside to support his friend, then-Attorney General and later Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Bridges is currently Managing Partner of Quest Capital Partners III. Since exiting a successful analytics software startup two years ago, Bridges has focused on research to understand the impact of disruptive technologies. His 2015 Amazon e-book, Driverless Car Revolution, reached #1 in sales for the Automotive and Robotics categories. It probes the economic, environmental, and social impacts of mobility services based on driverless electric vehicles. The book concludes that an Uber-like service can deliver door-to-door mobility for a small fraction of the price of individual automobile ownership. It will also save hundreds of thousands of lives, substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make inexpensive mobility available to almost everyone. However, driverless mobility services will disrupt the automotive and oil industries as well as several entire nations.
His next book, Driverless Conquers Congestion, is expected to be available in the second half of 2017.
The KPMG global automotive survey each year asks 800 auto executives to rank the eleven most important industry trends. In 2015, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) came in second to last. A year later they jumped to second place, and this year ranked first. BEVs are now seen as the most disruptive trend in the industry, with major automakers pouring billions into development. The Volkswagen Group recently announced that they would invest $84 billion in electric cars and batteries and would offer 300 different models by 2030. So, what has changed that has so dramatically driven the focus from the internal combustion engine to autonomous electric vehicles?