In this exclusive Q&A, Events Director for ITS America, Jaime McAuley discusses the organisation’s Annual Meeting, taking place from 7-10 December at the Charlotte Convention Center, North Carolina.
Could you start by describing ITS America’s 2021 Annual Meeting – what are the main topics and themes and what can visitors expect this year?
A fundamental focus is reconnecting, and celebrating innovation and the resilient, talented professionals in the ITS market – after a long delay of two and a half years since the last ITS America event, which was in Spring of 2019 in Washington D.C.. Safer, Greener, Smarter are the key overarching themes that will represented in a variety of ways and formats at the Charlotte event. On behalf of the ITS America and RX/Reed Exhibitions, we area excited to welcome the industry back and focus on this year’s theme “reimagining transportation.”
How does the content of the event align with ITS America’s needs and opportunities within the market?
It’s an exciting time for the transportation industry, iwith the anticipated US Infrastructure bill that is being worked on, and with the progressive leadership of Department of Transportation Secretary Peter Buttigieg. There are a comprehensive range of content/topics that are essential both for current active projects to get deployed/implemented and for planning for the future. The educational program includes a focus on intelligent, connected and automated technologies, equity and accessibility, sustainability and resiliency, innovative uses of big data, pandemic impact on transportation, supply chain and logistics, mobility on demand, MaaS, emerging technologies, security, and more.
Featured general sessions/keynotes include a Panel Discussion on “Cleaner and More Sustainable Transportation System with Michael Berube, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy”, and a State DOT Roundtable session: “State department of transportation executives in charge of ITS deployment decisions will discuss their experiences, successes, failures, challenges, and other lessons learned in launching projects and preparing infrastructure to meet and support future mobility demands”.
We’re excited to explore cross-cutting technologies such as AI/Machine Learning and the impact on the intelligent transportation space, urban air mobility, Electric / Alternative Fuels / Emissions, V2X, cybersecurity, safety, smart cities, traffic management and a range of technologies and solutions to enable a safer, green, smarter future transformed by smart mobility. And, the educational experience is extended beyond the formal classroom setting with live demonstrations from various ITS industry innovators such as Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Image Sensing Systems Inc. Michelin and more!
What new features, services and experiences can visitors expect this year?
With our RX/Reed Exhibitions management of the event, we’ve introduced the new Transportation Technology Leaders Club – for vetted VIPs with active projects and large budgets. Also, the event Mobile App will enable attendee-to-attendee and attendee-to-exhibitor matchmaking based on AI algorithms, with the opportunity to request meetings.
We also have many exciting special events planned, including:
- The MobilityXX breakfast will highlight women’s leadership in transportation and mobility, and discuss actionable methods to encourage diversity, inclusion, retention, and advancement – including the MobilityXX corporate pledge program.
- The ITS Awards Showcase and Reception Featuring the Best of ITS Award, Best of MOD Awards Showcase, and State Chapter Awards.
- The Emerging Leaders Program – University Challenge is a competition is designed for College and University students of various disciplines who hold an interest in mobility and technology.
- Southwest Research Institute’s Student Essay competition – focuses on how disruptive technologies and how they will impact transportation across the theme safer, greener, smarter over the next 10 years.
- And to cap off the last night of the event – the ITS World Congress 2022 Los Angeles Celebration reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (adjacent to the convention center).
What sort of products and technologies will be showcased at the event? Are you seeing any sort of trends in the types of exhibitors participating?
The exhibitors represent a more comprehensive range of solutions than ever for an Annual Meeting. Key solution areas are Big Data/Data & Video Analytics & AI, Electrification and Sustainability, Intermodal Systems, Information & Communications, Cybersecurity, Smart Infrastructure, Traffic Management, V2X Solutions, and Urban Planning. Of the 100+ exhibitors at the show, half are new exhibitors. Here is a sampling of some of our notable exhibitors, including:
- Geotab ITS
- Iteris Inc.
- Siemens Digital Industries
- Image Sensing Systems
- Kapsch TrafficCom
- Southwest Research Institute
- Bosch Security and Safety Systems
Are there virtual options for attendees that can’t attend the show in-person?
Yes, carrying on from the learnings of a lot of great ITS America online content offerings over the last 18 months as well as our Fall 2020 ITS ALL ACCESS Virtual Event, we’re pleased to be doing a “Hybrid” event format during the week of the in-person Annual Meeting.
For those who can’t make the trip to Charlotte, the ITS America 2021 ALL ACCESS virtual offerings will include a robust line-up on unique online sessions that won’t be available at the in-person event around the core themes – safer, greener, smarter, a selection of education session available in Charlotte will be pre-recorded and available to our virtual audience, live streaming of the Keynote Presentations and DOT Roundtable, virtual experience of the Tech Tours, access to the match-making capabilities within the mobile app, option to see exhibitor showcase pages, exhibitor recommendations and a 1 year subscription to ITS ALL-ACCESS.