J. Luke Bennecke


J. Luke Bennecke is a native Californian and a 25-year veteran civil engineer who has spent his career helping people by improving transportation systems in Southern California. Like most commuters, he longs for the day when traffic congestion is a thing of the past and highway fatalities are a distant memory. He has a BS in civil engineering from Cal Poly Pomona, an MBA from Cal State San Bernardino, a private pilot's certificate, and is a partner in the successful firm, Southstar Engineering, based in Riverside.

He has been happily married to the woman of his dreams, Tammy, for nearly three awesome decades and enjoys spending time with his grown daughters.

Smashwords Interview

How did you come up with this book idea?
Driving on I-210 in Pasadena – stopped traffic. Why are we as a society still tolerating traffic congestion? Did some research - $160B lost economic productivity annually. 30k-40k people are killed every year on the highways of our great nation.


Wanted to generate awareness of these two important issues. But nobody wants to read a thesis about how to solve these problems, so I wrote a fast-paced thriller with the self-driving message at the core.
Seems like there have been several recent incidents involving self-driving cars. Is this trend going to continue?
I sure hope not! 75% of Americans don’t feel comfortable getting into a self-driving car. Feel it’s not safe. That’s a huge social hurdle to overcome. Having these accidents every few weeks is unfortunately heading us backwards. I think we need to sit down with the best minds in the country: sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, financial whizzes, engineers – civil, mechanical, electrical, computer – legal experts and hash out a strategy with goals, timelines, etc. Just like Kennedy did in the early 1960’s – put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. We can do this, but we need to do it the right way.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find J. Luke Bennecke online

Where to buy in print


The Future of Self-Driving Cars - Author J. Luke Bennecke
Veteran civil engineer J. Luke Bennecke is interviewed on KTLA, the most-watched morning show in Los Angeles.


Civil Terror Series
Civil Engineer Dr. Jake Bendel is forced into the FBI world of terrorism, espionage, and betrayal, using his engineering mind to save American lives.
Civil Terror: Gridlock
Price: $4.99 $2.99 USD. (40% off until Oct. 5!)
Civil Terror: Waterborne
Price: $4.99 USD.


Civil Terror: Waterborne
Series: Civil Terror Series. Pre-release—available October 5, 2019. Price: $4.99 USD. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
An engineer solves the California drought, but random people are dying from the water, forcing the engineer to partner once again with the FBI to halt the madness and save millions of innocent people.
Civil Terror: Gridlock
Series: Civil Terror Series. Price: $4.99 $2.99 USD. (40% off until Oct. 5!) Words: 120,730. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
An engineer implements a national self-driving car network, but terrorists weaponize the system, forcing the engineer to partner with a rogue FBI agent to stop a mad man from killing millions.

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