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Sam Abuelsamid’s primary role is senior analyst with Navigant Research where he tracks automated driving, connected vehicles, automotive cybersecurity, mobility and advanced propulsion. He writes research reports on these and other topics that are available for anyone to purchase, as well as customized research where he does deeper dives into specific topics of interest for clients. The research Sam and his colleagues do helps readers shape their strategies going forward. He is also a contributor to Forbes.com autos section where he writes about all things car related including the people that create the products and impacts on society, a columnist on autonomous and connected vehicles for Automotive Engineering and co-host of the Wheel Bearings podcast. He also provides analysis and insights on transportation topics for other members of the media and participates in many conferences as a speaker, panelist or moderator.
Without revealing any secrets, can you tell us what types of stories, trends or issues are on your radar now? I’m following a number of topics with interest particularly related to the future of mobility including the core technologies, security, developing automated driving from a research project into a truly viable commercial product, the business models and of course the cars that we will continue to drive for many years to come.
Tell us about your dream assignment. One of my dream gigs would be writing about and photographing sports car racing full-time and having a column where I can write about whatever interests me. I essentially have the latter between Forbes, Wheel Bearings and my personal blog so I’m pretty fortunate.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you’ve written/produced. My 2008 interviews with Elon Musk and Martin Eberhard that dove into the origins of Tesla Motors from both men’s perspectives. It was published as a 4 part series on AutoblogGreen and then later cited as evidence in the lawsuit between the two.
What is your top pet peeve with PR people? Having spent some time on the communications side I understand the challenges of that role. However, as both a (hopefully educated) consumer and producer of news content, I get really annoyed my PR counterparts don’t really think through how a pitch may be perceived by the recipient and audience or they don’t thoroughly research a claim before pitching. Make sure you have a story that’s really unique and that the claims are legit. For example, Tesla proclaiming they will send an autonomous car across the country in December 2017, but Delphi did this in April 2015.
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, favorites, background, etc.) I’m an engineer at heart and a technology geek through and through. I graduated from GMI with a mechanical engineering degree, specializing in engine design and vehicle dynamics and have spent the years since developing electronic control systems, writing about automotive tech and delivering insights on how the transportation world is evolving. I have a wife of 23 years, two great grown kids and an adorable corgi. My favorite hobbies are driving my first-gen Miata, taking photos and hanging out on a beach.
Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that I… while I seem to talk a lot, I prefer to listen to people that are smarter than me and hopefully learn something from every encounter.