General Motors CEO Mary Barra will kick off the 21st ITS World Congress on Sunday, 7 September with an opening keynote speech that will address the changing transportation environment around the world as well as the rapidly evolving technology of connected, autonomous, and electric vehicles.
“Connectivity may drive more positive change for customers than any other technological innovation our industry has produced in decades,” says Barra. “Anywhere in the world that we connect cars to cars, and cars to their surroundings, we will save lives, save time and protect the environment. But only if automakers, suppliers and regulators move forward together to make it happen. That’s what makes this year’s ITS World Congress such a landmark event.”
Barra is the first female to become the leader of a global automaker and was recently named to the Time 100 list as one of the world’s most influential people. This year Fortune magazine also placed her first on its “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list, and in 2013 Forbes magazine selected her as one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Barra began her career at General Motors in 1980 and has been with the company for more than three decades.
“We are elated to have Mary Barra launch this year’s ITS World Congress and if you want to know what direction the future of transportation is headed, then you cannot afford to miss this event,” said Scott Belcher, president and CEO of ITS America, which hosts the ITS World Congress. “Southeast Michigan is at the heart of a growing intelligent transportation industry that will forever change how we move people and goods. There is no better place to showcase the next generation of high-tech innovation in transportation than in a resurgent Detroit.”
In addition to Barra’s opening ceremony keynote address, General Motors is one of the anchor sponsors of the 2014 ITS World Congress.