Reilly Brennan


Reilly Brennan is the Executive Director of the Revs Automotive Research Program at Stanford, a lecturer at the Stanford and creator of various mobility prototypes and mishaps.

Full bio and contact here.

  1. Why is it so difficult to find automaker contact info?

    Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 8.34.26 PM

    A few nights ago I was up at 3AM and wanted to dig in a bit deeper to some elements of the recent GM recall involving their ignition switch problem. I found information on the recall very hard to parse on GM’s site (they’re even advertising a link on Google which doesn’t actually work; sadly even after I told them about this they still haven’t fixed it and are still advertising it). What I found most frustrating was the lack of contact information. How should an end user contact the company?

    Now it was 3:30AM and I clearly wasn’t getting back to bed, so I made an attempt to see if I could find recall and contact information at all the other OEMs. It proved to be a clump of spaghetti just like the GM experience. With that bit in my teeth, I built a spreadsheet over a few hours and published it as a table with some help from R Christie’s table guide. The goal of this page is to make two things easier:

    • Find a way to see if your car is under recall; submit a complaint directly
    • Contact the automaker directly via all available formats

    I hope you find it useful. 


    Tuesday April 15, 2014
    Posted at 8:33 pm
    Permalink ∞
    tags: #recalls  #safety  #contact info 
    Notes: 5
  2. Shop Envy: Neistat’s New York Studio

    I was completely floored by this look inside Casey Neistat’s studio. In fact it’s not so much a studio as a shop. As my friend James said: A great pairing of OCD and I-don’t-give-a-fuck.

    I love workspaces with a heavy fingerprint. After watching this I believe his shop is a good matched pair for his film work: everything, down to the cord keeper and sharpie pen, is done exactly in his own image. 







    Thursday March 20, 2014
    Posted at 9:53 pm
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    tags: #video  #casey neistat  #studio  #shop 
  3. Herbert Matter’s ‘Works of Calder,’ with music by John Cage (1950). 

    This is an opportunity to remind you to visit the website, a wonderful experience and resource. The full 20-minute version of the Matter film can be found on the site in the films section.

    Friday March 7, 2014
    Posted at 5:12 pm
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    tags: #video  #calder 
    Notes: 1
  4. The Nass CPM Model for Dynamic Advertising Pricing

    Cliff Nass CPM model for dynamic advertising pricing Reilly Brennan

    Months back we lost Cliff Nass, the brilliant and friendly professor who made life wonderful for people at Stanford, myself included. I dearly miss him. In addition to his role as director of the Revs automotive research program, Cliff was of course one of the leading experts in human-computer interaction. The night of his memorial service, Revs advisor David Kelley summed up our grief quite succinctly: “When most people die we are sad for the loss of not having them in our lives; with Cliff gone we can be sad about that and for the future losses of all those wonderful things he would have figured out.”

    While Cliff’s multitasking research hit on various parts of life, our time typically focused on things like media and transportation. During these moments, Cliff waved his hands and raised his voice to a yelp and smiled and made the entire discussion a high wire act of ideas. This was play for Cliff; idea generation was a team sport.

    While he was interested in how end users were impacted by things like media displacement (the idea that new media tends to take away time from existing media; e.g. internet takes time from television, which took time from radio and so forth), I was always keen on thinking about the upstream systems that allowed for multitasking in the first place. We theorized that multitasking would not only continue to impact human life, but also further impact the devices themselves. As a matter of fact, it’s almost absurd that in 2014 your devices aren’t working together — and it makes for the entire value chain around those devices inefficient and wasteful. Where Cliff found the negative effects of chronic multitasking in humans, we found that the opposite was true for devices.

    Today, when you’re sitting on your couch with your tablet open and your television on and iTunes playing in the background and your phone buzzing on your lap, it’s as if each device is operating on an island. Advertisers who pay for your attention on those devices are paying the same rate whether you are looking at only your iPad or four devices concurrently. That waste? Ultimately you are paying for it.

    In the future when these devices communicate to take advantage of multitasking, these advertising rates will change dynamically. A new system for adtech will be required that sympathizes with this interplay. Cliff and I were fascinated by how this might work and how things like rank order and eye tracking (even ear tracking) would play into account. This idea of changing advertising was a logical next step, a rightful ‘win’ for multitasking.

    Photo from OOOMF by Vadim Sherbakov

    One thing stumped us, though. What would we call it?

    Now with Cliff gone I submit that we just call this the Nass CPM (in advertising lingo, ads are bought by ‘CPM’ or cost per thousand). A Nass CPM would dynamically change as devices in the room were opened and used by the couch potato.

    The coda to the Nass CPM is a fascinating takeaway for the automobile business: when these rates are studied across all environments of life (living room, bedroom, workplace, gym, etc), we posited that the automobile would be able to achieve the highest ‘Nass CPM’ because in the pre-autonomous car you simply can’t consume a lot of media at once. A quaint old format like in-car radio (or podcasts) will look to achieve comparatively high advertising rates as a result.

    Cliff is gone but his work will live on. I hope his crazy ideas live on in name, too, and ask you all to carry the Nass CPM forward as it develops.

    (Desk photo from Vadim Sherbakov via Unsplash/Ooomf)

    Monday February 10, 2014
    Posted at 8:24 pm
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    tags: #cliff nass  #cpm  #advertising  #adtech 
    Notes: 1
  5. 2014 24 Hours of Daytona TUSCC Couch Kit: Streaming, Entry Lists, Et Al


    Ok, here it is: Another episode in our never-ending quest for the couch-based war room. Do you set your living room up with all available monitors like your own personal NORAD? I knew we would be good friends. 

    This new series (Tudor United SportsCar Championship, aka TUSCC aka ‘TUSK’) is probably going to be a bit uneven in the beginning stages. That typically makes for some interesting racing. Will a DP win overall or an ex-ALMS prototype 2 car? Or a GT car? It’s of course likely to be a DP, but one can dream. The lot of cars all together sure looks promising. Me? I’m really just here for the C7.R launch…

    (all times Eastern)

    Start time: 2:10 PM, Saturday January 25

    US TV Coverage: 15 hours of broadcasting appear across three FOX networks: FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and FOX. It’s a bit confusing, but for anyone who is used to the way sports car fans are treated in terms of TV packages, this is nothing new. 

    • 02:00PM - 04:00PM Saturday: FOX
    • 04:00PM - 09:00PM Saturday: FOX Sports 2
    • 07:00AM - 03:00PM Sunday: FOX Sports 1

    Web Streaming: There is good news here — Fox Sports will be streaming the entire race (flag to flag) online, even during periods when the race is broadcast on television. You can stream this by downloading the Fox Sports Go app (iOS only I think, but this also works on your desktop, it just appears in your browser). You’ll have to login with your cable provider.

    Team Streaming: Often from the pits, sometimes from the cockpit.

    Timing / Scoring:

    Entry List:


    Archived Photos and Video:

    It is going to be another great trip around the clock (twice). Note this list updates frequently throughout the weekend. 

    For some great Daytona history and Dan Gurney ingenuity, view this clip below (when the race began it was only a 3-hr event; it went to a full 24 hours in 1966):

    Wednesday January 22, 2014
    Posted at 10:20 pm
    Permalink ∞
    tags: #couch kit  #24 hours of daytona 
    Notes: 6
  6. Will Calcutt, 2006.

    Will Calcutt, 2006.

    Tuesday January 7, 2014
    Posted at 11:28 pm
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    tags: #will calcutt 
    Notes: 2