Dr. Norma Hubele, a statistician and educator for more than thirty years was today's speaker. Dr. Hubele has spent her life serving the public as a professor, consumer advocate, and automotive safety expert. After receiving her Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she joined the engineering faculty at ASU teaching statistics to engineers. She served as Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Fulton School of Engineering. As a tech entrepreneur and data scientist she has served as an expert witness in over 120 automobile safety cases. Central to her vision of creating a world where everyone walks away from a crash, she shares her extensive experience with consumers as founder of The Auto Professor. She has created an algorithm that transforms complex car crash data into a practical and person-alized rating system: The Auto Grades. Hers is the only go-to data source for getting accurate information on how well cars have protected drivers in real life crashes…and it’s free. Go to TheAutoProfesssor.com.
Dr. Hubele shared that the traditional car safety rating system is based on controlled lab settings and NOT on real world crash data. Real world crash date, she reports is better for three main reasons: 
1. Crash Tests use dummies which are not the same as real people. (Well that may be questionable in some cases !) 
2. Controlled crashes produce a limited number of data points whereas real-life crashes produce millions of data points every year. 
3. Lab tests compare similar cars in frontal crashes—i.e., mini vs mini; sedan vs sedan; SUV vs SUV but NEVER compare Mini vs SUV and we know that in the real world, our car is on the road with many different cars so we need to know how a mini compares with an SUV. Auto Grades developed by Dr. Hubele is the only car safety rating system based on real-world crash statistics that lets you compare all types of cars and also review data differences based on age of the driver. 
Dr. Hubele made a distinction between “safety”—everything we do to safeguard our health and “protection”—those things provided by our car. Unfortunately, we can do everything right but it is impossible to protect ourselves from every body else, various hazards such as ice and snow, for example. She shared a visual showing a mini car and a SUV and asked, “Do these cars look equally safe?” Even though both may be rated a five in safety, she explained that each car is rated against similar cars in their category and not cross category, a problem. 
She indicated that her work was driven by love but fueled by conviction. When her daughter was dating, among other information she wanted to know about the then boyfriend was “What does he drive?” The question became even more important when her daughter married and had children—driving a Ford Focus is NOT the same as driving a Toyota 4-Runner even though both received a five star rating from the safety rating systems. Dr. Hubele’s data showed that the Ford Focus earned an overall “C” grade while the Toyota 4 Runner ended up with a real life “A” when compared to all other vehicles. 
When asked about self driving vehicles, Dr. Hubele indicated that we’re still about 20 years out. Uber she said, was designed to save people from accidents but “risky” drivers simply are not using it. She also commented on her article in the Ahwatukee Foothills Newspaper regarding whether Tesla built the safest car. Applying her grading system presents a different picture. Tesla may not produce the safest car. 
Dr. Hubele says her job is to ”Get the word out to help people make better choices.” She would someday like to have this potentially life-saving information in Blue Book. You can help get the word out by sharing TheAutoProfessor.com