ITSWC 2020 - LA, here we come!

Planning for next year’s 27th ITS World Congress in Los Angeles is well under way. ITS America president Shailen Bhatt explains what visitors can expect from the 2020 event...
November 26, 2019 5 mins Read
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Next year, we are thrilled to bring the 6456 ITS World Congress (ITSWC) back to North America, and we are particularly looking forward to welcoming colleagues from around the world to Los Angeles. The city is where west meets east – it truly defines the conference theme, ‘The New Age of Mobility.’ It is the hub of moving people, data and freight.

And at a time in which we are focused on moving people, data and freight, how will we prepare for a future that is increasingly more connected, autonomous, shared and electric?

The technologies that make our roads safer will also reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions and move us closer to a future of seamless mobility.

Los Angeles takes the long view when making transportation decisions by developing innovative ways for people to move around the city.

Just as it did for the 1984 Olympics, the city is making infrastructure improvements in advance of the 2028 games that will benefit residents for decades to come – including Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Twenty-Eight by ’28 initiative to complete 28 transit projects by 2028.  

In addition, he announced his intention to make Los Angeles carbon neutral by 2050 with the city’s Green New Deal, which includes such targets as electrifying the bus fleet by 2030; requiring 80% of vehicles to be electric by 2035; and reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 45% by 2050.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the two largest in the nation and combined are the ninth largest in the world. Together, they move roughly 40% of the nation’s total containerised imports and 30% of exports. The modernisation through technology at these ports is an example of how to move the 21st century economy.

In addition, Los Angeles is the leader in using data to improve its transportation system, which is key to improving safety, managing congestion, and reducing our carbon footprint.

Before I tell you about what’s in store once we arrive in Los Angeles, there are several ways to get involved now.

The Emerging Leaders Programme (ELP), developed for the 2020 World Congress, will engage students and developing young professionals globally to become involved in mobility and transportation through competition and exposure.

The programme consists of three components, a Global Challenge, National Immersion Programme and Local Awareness Programme.

The Global Challenge is designed for university students who hold an interest in mobility and technology. It recruits students from around the world to solve a mobility challenge in hopes of advancing to the final round in Los Angeles. Pre-event competition will be held virtually during the 2019–2020 school year, and three teams will be selected - one each from the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific – for the championship.

The National Immersion Programme offers high school students the opportunity to become exposed to the world of intelligent mobility, with the possibility of furthering an education in the transportation field. After a problem-solving pre-competition, three teams will be selected to attend LA2020 to display their solutions and engage in educational programming and hands-on activities related to intelligent mobility.

The Local Awareness Programme is geared to attract up to 1,000 high school students and their teachers from the Los Angeles Metropolitan area to the ITS World Congress for a single-day programme on new mobility technologies and careers stemming from this growing field. This programme is designed to highlight the expanding scope of intelligent transportation and mobility.

Conference programme

A robust conference programme is critical to the successful exchange of information and dialogue among attendees.

LA2020 will have a packed and wide-ranging menu of plenary and executive sessions where invited high- level international industry executives, public officials and academics from around the world will draw from their experiences to share their views on ITS achievements, issues and challenges. Learning and dialogue opportunities with peers from around the world will be further enhanced by a full range of special interest, technical/scientific and strategic technology sessions, as well as a whole range of ancillary meetings and events.

All of these sessions will address the eight programme themes of LA2020, including seamless mobility and changing behaviour; fuelling the future: alternative fuels and emissions; the path to vision zero; disruption on the digital highway: data; technology from entry to the last mile; connectivity or spectrum/networks; intelligent, connected and automated vehicles; and organising for success, governance, business models and international cooperation.

ITS America president Shailen Bhatt
ITS America president Shailen Bhatt

The International Programme Committee is inviting ITS experts to submit their contributions to be considered for presentation and publication at the ITS World Congress in Los Angeles in 2020 and the deadline for submissions is 3 February, 2020. For more information and submission details, visit the website.

Once you arrive at the LA Convention Center, you’ll see more than 300 innovative companies exhibiting groundbreaking transportation technologies. Space is going fast, so if you’re interested, please contact for more details and to reserve your space!

Taking centre stage, the “Pathways to Seamless Mobility Pavilion” will showcase select global cities leading the way on the integration of Mobility on Demand and Mobility as a Service solutions.

The world is changing at a breakneck pace. I can’t imagine what the next 12 months will bring, but I know the 27th ITS World Congress will capture those changes and showcase the future by featuring the best and latest transportation technology.

ITS America members are eager to engage with others around the world who share our vision of a better future transformed by intelligent mobility – one that is safer, greener and smarter. We look forward to a transformational event, and I hope you will join us in Los Angeles, 4-8 October, 2020. 

La Convention Centre

Los Angeles, the second largest city in the US, has it all - culture, nightlife, sun, sand and the Hollywood Hills. Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), located in the heart of vibrant Downtown LA, is a leading destination for conventions, trade shows and exhibitions. Only 17 miles from Los Angeles International Airport, the ITS World Congress venue is conveniently located in the southwest district of downtown LA. The shopping/restaurant hubs around the convention centre include The Block, Fig at 7th, LA Live and Restaurant Row on 7th Street. 


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