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ITS World Congress looks to new horizons in Montréal

First publishedin ITS International
January February 2017
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ITS World Congress 2017 Montreal

ITS World Congress 2017 will highlight transformational technologies, integrated mobility and smart cities.

“Today’s global transportation industry is at a transformational tipping point,” says Regina Hopper, president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America).

“We find ourselves in the midst of a whirlwind of innovation in transportation driven by swift advances in cloud computing, automation, connectivity, robotics, artificial intelligent, privacy and security concerns and business models. These technological advancements are driving new products and markets, public policy initiatives and public acceptance issues,” she adds.

Encouraging conversations and collaborations among these equally important perspectives is a main focus of the upcoming ITS World Congress 2017 set for 29 October - 2 November in Montréal, Canada. Co-organised by ITS America with participation by ITS Canada, Ertico-ITS Europe and ITS Asia-Pacific, this year’s World Congress will convene private businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, public agencies, academics, researchers and the media from the transportation, telecommunications and technology sectors. The purpose of each programme component—from breakout sessions to plenaries to demonstrations to the exhibit hall—will be to engage those present in robust conversations about how the rapidly changing and ever-expanding transportation industry is addressing the very real challenges facing the mobile, connected societies of today and tomorrow.

“This year’s World Congress is about discussions and debates that will drive deployment of technologies for an integrated mobility experience around the world,” said Hopper.

A highlight of the event this year will be the Smart Cities Pavilion, a collection of dynamic exhibitions displaying some of the world’s best examples of integrating information and communication technologies with the Internet of Things to manage an area’s various assets. These exhibitions will be experiential, allowing those who display to showcase their ingenuity and those who visit to vividly understand how adopting a smart city approach would enhance the quality of life in their communities.

Support innovation

“We need to actively support innovation that seeks reliability, safety and equal access,” says John Barton, ITS World Congress Smart Cities Pavilion Committee Chair and associate vice-chancellor and director of Rellis Campus for The Texas A&M University Systems. “Public and private companies, as well as policymakers, need to work together to shorten the time from idea to market without sacrificing protections.” Barton says an immediate action towards that end would be the development of consistent standards so viable solutions can be implemented quickly and effectively across the globe. “Just like with today’s cell phones, transportation users are beginning to expect the same access to and quality of service from Boston to Beijing.”

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 ITS Monteral 2017 Logo
One major challenge to that implementation goal may be the availability of a trained workforce. Industry sources are estimating that 500,000 new connected vehicle jobs will be created by 2020.

“Never before has the transportation industry seen such a rapid convergence of ideas and needs and companies interested in providing solutions,” says Mobile Comply’s CEO Elaina Farnsworth. “While the current workforce is trying to keep pace, the industry has to be proactive in educating current students towards career opportunities in transportation and introducing them to companies with growth potential.”

With that in mind, ITS America is again utilising its partnership with Mobile Comply to host students for an interactive workshop in Montréal. The inaugural V2X Global Future Workforce Program, predicated on the successful debut of a similar offering during ITS America 2016 San Jose, will assemble more than 50 students for cutting-edge, hands-on experiences with connected and autonomous vehicle technologies while offering them opportunities to interact with companies from around the globe to discuss sought-after skill sets.

“The 24th ITS World Congress Organising Committee is working very hard to ensure this event is inclusive of all intelligent and transformational transportation technology sectors and voices,” says Hopper. “It is our sincere wish that every attendee leaves Montréal with the information and inspiration they need to move the new integrated mobility world toward reality.” ITS

For more information about the ITS World Congress 2017, please visit www.ITSWorldCongress2017.org.

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