Intelligent transportation conference set for Sept. in Detroit

The 21st World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems will be held in Detroit, Sept. 7-11.

Events associated with the convention will take place at Cobo Center, with about 10,000 attendees expected, according to Scott Belcher, CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

The event, which happens every three years in North America, will feature demonstrations and presentations of innovations in transportation technology. The event rotates among the United States, Asia and Europe. Last year’s congress was in Tokyo.

Automakers and governments are studying intelligent transportation systems, in which cars “talk” to one another and nearby infrastructure through sensors and wireless signals. The goals are to minimize collisions and to lessen traffic jams, Belcher said.

National, regional and local officials will gather with automakers, global transportation personnel and researchers to discuss technology-based improvements to transportation safety, efficiency, sustainability and connectivity.

The hot topic at this year’s ITS world congress will be connected and autonomous vehicles, Belcher said.

“There are 30,000 connected vehicles in Michigan,” he said. “There’s not a better time or place to do this.”

ITS America is seeking to spur intelligent transportation investment and harmonization of global standards to make it easier for automakers to equip vehicles with the technology.

The congress will offer test drives and rides in connected and autonomous cars at an interactive technology showcase on Belle Isle, an island state park in the Detroit River.

Belcher said the conference also will feature a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration panel, whose members will discuss topics in intelligent transportation such as connected and autonomous cars and distracted driving.

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