Digital ‘mindset shift’ needed

Moving towards a digital future in transportation will require more than simply using new technologies; it will also be about accepting new ways of thinking. That was among the key messages from the plenary session Rethinking Infrastructure in the New Digital Era on Day 2 of ITS America 2024 Conference & Expo.
April 25, 2024
ITS America president & CEO Laura Chace
ITS America president & CEO Laura Chace

“Innovation in our industry is truly moving at the speed of light,” said ITS America president & CEO Laura Chace (pictured). “Software-based solutions will become more commonplace. We don’t have a playbook for that. It’s not just about adopting new technologies: it requires a mindset shift – we need policy structures, workforce availability and societal acceptance. We need to explain that value to people who can’t see what we’re talking about.”

On stage, Chace interviewed Robert C. Hampshire, chief science officer at USDOT, who emphasised how seriously the department viewed AI, citing initiatives such as the Intersection Safety Challenge and the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grants programme. “We’re taking this challenge of AI by the horns,” he said. Hampshire welcomed the launch of the ITS America Academy, an online training programme which will begin later this year with a course on transportation data. “That’s exactly the sort of thing we need. This community must continue to take responsibility for data management and privacy,” he said.

In a video message, US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “AI is top of mind for everyone exploring the future of transportation today.”

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