By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
It’s still several months away, but the team at Knoxville’s GRIDSMART has already announced some details for its INTERSECT17 conference.
The three-day event brings the company’s customers from around the world to Knoxville to interact with government executives and others focused on issues facing the transportation industry. The 2017 edition is set for November 14-16.
“INTERSECT17 will be one of this year’s most inspiring, thought provoking and landscape shifting transportation events, because after years of the same Groundhog Day, self-congratulatory conversations, it’s time to get real,” Bill Malkes, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the West Knoxville company, says. “It’s time we had the talk. No topic, however uncomfortable, will be off limits.”
To illustrate these points, he cites the line-up of presenters that includes Mary Peters, former Secretary of U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT); Bob Walker, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Congress and former Chairman of the Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry; Rhea Seddon, retired NASA Hall of Fame Astronaut and a graduate of the University of Tennessee; and George Allen, former U.S. Senator and Virginia Governor.
“Over three days, INTERSECT17 will map out and predict the path from transportation now to transportation in the future,” Malkes explains.
GRIDSMART is the world’s only single camera solution for intersection actuation, traffic data collection, and situational awareness. The company’s smart traffic management products help communities of all sizes reduce congestion, maximize efficiency, and reduce environmental impact.
Earlier this year, the 10-year old company and the City of Knoxville announced plans to install the first equipment of a test bed designed to study and reduce traffic congestion in the area between West Town Mall and Bearden Hill (see this article from teknovation.biz).
Malkes says the focus of the first day of INTERSECT17 will be on what he describes as “The Now” – why and how we got here and what the current environment can tell us about where we’re headed. Day 2 will be focused on “The Transition” – how to position for success as both organizations and individuals and what it will take to navigate the path. The final day will examine “The Future” – what transportation will really look like and how everyone can successfully participate in the short and long-terms.
“With daily coverage by Thinking Highways and other trade and mainstream media, INTERSECT17 will explore how traditional ITS (intelligent transportation system) players and newer, high tech innovators can work effectively together to build a transportation system that benefits all Americans,” Malkes added. “We will consider the new transportation economy, from where the money is going to where the jobs will be.”
In addition to the keynoters listed above, Kirk Steudle, Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation; Carolos Braceras, Executive Director of Utah Department of Transportation; Teddy Vagias, Co-Founder the Goal is Zero; and Paul Brubaker, President and CEO of ATI21 and former Administer, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, for USDOT.