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05 May 2015

 

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2015 ITS America annual meeting opens in Pittsburgh

First publishedITS America
2015
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[ Zoom ]
CEO of ITA Regina Hopper
ITS America's President and CEO of ITS America, Regina Hopper

For anyone involved in the ITS industry, the Opening Plenary of the 2015 ITS Annual Meeting will be an unmissable event. It will fully explore the event’s theme – Bridges to Innovation – and speakers will include the newly announced President and CEO of ITS America, Regina Hopper, Kirk Steudle, Director, Michigan DOT and Chairman, ITS America Board of Directors, Daniel G. Corey, Chairman, Pittsburgh Organizing Committee  as well as Federal, State and Local Officials along with additional speakers.

The session, from 9.00-10.30am on Monday, June 1, will also see the Best of ITS Awards finalists being recognised and the winnners announced.

The Opening Plenary keynote speech will be provided by Chris Urmson, Google’s Director of Self-Driving Cars, and will focus on “Realising self-driving vehicles.” For the last five years or more, Google has retrofitted existing cars to experiment with autonomous driving.

However, the company is deploying a test fleet of about 100 fully functioning prototypes of a self-driving car that was designed from the ground up. It dispenses with such familiar automotive parts as steering wheel, brakes and accelerator pedal.

Urmson expects real people to be using them on public roads in two to five years and, as he will explain to delegates, in setting out to design a self-driving vehicle from scratch, it was inspiring to start with a blank sheet of paper and ask, “What should be different about this kind of vehicle?”

[ Zoom ]
Chris Urmson  Google’s Director of Self-Driving Cars
Chris Urmson, Google's Director of Self-Driving Cars.

The most important thing was safety so the Google cars have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, which is especially helpful on busy streets with lots of intersections.

Delegates attending the Opening Plenary will also have an opportunity of hearing first-hand from ITS America’s President and CEO of ITS America, Regina Hopper who takes up her role on 18 May, just two weeks before the event. She is a veteran executive of major Washington industry associations. Her experience in public policy advocacy, communications, media and law spans the transportation, telecommunications and energy industries. Prior to her trade association work, Regina was a correspondent for CBS News where she earned an Emmy for investigative reporting on 48 Hours. She covered the George H.W. Bush and Clinton White Houses as well as breaking news for CBS network news programs and CBS Newspath.

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