Winter 2018/2019 Edition
ITS Michigan Quarterly Newsletter

There are lots of exciting things happening in the world of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in Michigan. The Intelligent Transportation Society of Michigan (ITS Michigan) is your link to these activities. This quarterly newsletter will help you keep up to speed on what's happening in ITS in Michigan and learn about opportunities to network with others in the field.
Save the Date: Upcoming ITS Michigan events
  • Dec. 5: ITS Michigan Webinar on Washtenaw Community College's advanced transportation education & training solutions (see below for details).
  • Dec. 10: ITS Michigan 2018 Annual Meeting and holiday mixer (see below for details).
  • Feb. 21: Bowling fundraiser in the Novi area to kick off ITS Michigan's scholarship campaign to benefit college students planning a career in ITS.
  • May 15: ITS Michigan membership meeting and cybersecurity training in the Lansing area. Will include a short presentation on the current status of the association followed by a cyber training session geared towards ITS professionals.
  • End of July: ITS Michigan networking event on the west side of the state. Stay tuned for details.
  • September: ITS Michigan 2019 Annual Meeting. Final details are being working out, but there will be keynote speakers, panel discussions and more. 
  • November/December 2019: Networking and keynote similar to this year's Dec.10 event.
ITS Michigan honors founding Board member and first president
In September, the ITS Michigan Board of Directors honored retiring Board member Gerry Conover with a resolution of tribute acknowledging his 23 years of service to the association.

Conover, who represented PRC Associates on the Board in recent years, previously was the Ford Motor Company representative to the Board. He was a founding member of ITS Michigan in 1995 and served as the association’s first president.

The Board’s resolution also recognized Conover’s critical roles with ITS America during the last 20 years, including his membership in the ITS America Hall of Fame. Conover is also a recipient of the ITS World Congress Lifetime Achievement Award and was the chairman of the 6 th ITS World Congress in Toronto in 1999. He served as chair of International Affairs for ITS America from 1995 until 2014.

The ITS Michigan Board went on to praise Conover’s central role in convincing the ITS America World Congress Site Selection Committee to bring the 2014 ITS World Congress to Detroit, despite strong opposition from some in the national association. His efforts helped lead to the most successful World Congress ever conducted to that time.
ITS Michigan President Debra Bezzina presents Gerry Conover with the resolution.
Mark your calendar :
ITS Michigan Annual Meeting and Holiday Mixer is Dec. 10
It's the event you don't want to miss: The ITS Michigan Annual Meeting and Holiday Mixer will take place on Dec. 10.

The keynote speaker for the event will by Gary Smyth, executive director of General Motors' Global Research and Development Laboratories.

Here are the details:

Time:          6 - 9 p.m. (keynote speaker at 7 p.m.)

Location:   City of Novi Civic Center
                   45175 W. 10 Mile Road
                   Novi, MI 48375

Cost:          Free to ITS Michigan members, $35 for non-members

There will be heavy appetizers and a cash bar.

Dec. 5 ITS Michigan webinar to discuss Washtenaw Community College's advanced transportation education & training solutions
Reserve your spot today: ITS Michigan is hosting a webinar Dec. 5 to present education and training solutions that Washtenaw Community College (WCC) has developed related to advanced transportation and mobility.

The Advanced Transportation Center at WCC enables the college to meet employer and industry needs in a cohesive and innovative manner. WCC is dedicated to:
  • Providing quality teaching and learning experiences that meet business and industry needs;
  • Preparing students for careers in emerging mobility infrastructure technologies; and
  • Creating a pipeline to develop talent for high-skill careers. 

The three discussion areas for the webinar include:
  • Cybersecurity & ethical hacking (Cyndi Millns, Mike Galea)
  • Powertrain development technician associate degree (Allen Day)
  • ITS technician training (Elizabeth Nofs)

The Webinar will run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Register for the free event at: ITS Michigan Dec. 5 webinar .

The event is sponsored by ITS Michigan, Michael Baker International and Washtenaw Community College.
Former ITS Michigan President Yousuf Taufiq
honored at September meeting
Current ITS Michigan President Debby Bezzina recognized immediate Past President Yousuf Taufiq for his service to the organization during the September ITS Michigan Board meeting.

At the meeting, Bezzina presented Taufiq with the ITS Michigan Distinguished Service Award.

Taufiq is Michigan Operations Manager & Manager Traffic/ITS Engineering for WSP USA.
September ITS Michigan Lunch & Learn focused on V2X
ITS Michigan conducted a successful “lunch-and-learn” webinar Sept. 6 at the Danlaw Inc. offices in Novi.
The event was well attended and focused on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) hardware and software. In addition to ITS Michigan, the event was sponsored by Michael Baker International and Danlaw.
A few words from
ITS Michigan President Debra Bezzina...
Deploy DSRC now; continue work on CV2X
As the connected-vehicle world moves closer to reality, there has been a growing debate about which is the best technology to facilitate communication between vehicles and between vehicles and the infrastructure, with some lining up firmly behind radio communications known as dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) while other believe the future lies with cellular communications, known as cellular-vehicle to everything (CV2X).

The DSRC world is dependent upon the 5.9 GHz radio spectrum that was allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) back in the 1990s for automotive safety. However, the spectrum wasn't used until the Launch of the 2017 Cadillac CTS. Toyota has announced plans to launch in 2021, and so has Volvo. 

DSRC also enjoys strong support from the trade association Global Automakers, in which Honda, Nissan and Toyota participate. However, there is a fierce battle going on to reallocate either part or all of the 5.9 GHz band to 5G technology. 

The argument is that CV2X is better and faster. However, the challenging fact remains that commercializing CV2X will take time. In fact, it will likely take several more years of development to bring CV2X to the point of viability -- development that is already complete for DSRC. 

There, may, though, be an alternative to the either/or scenario: The U.S. DOT recently completed Phase 1 testing that showed DSRC and CV2X devices could work in the same space. 

To that end, Qualcomm recently petitioned the FCC to use the upper two channels of the 5.9 GHz spectrum exclusively for CV2X. What wasn't stated was that this will affect the existing DSRC deployment in Ann Arbor. 

The Ann Arbor deployment is still the largest connected-vehicle deployment on the planet and is the only one that is interoperable with the vehicles that will be rolling off the assembly line. What we're learning is that we truly need the full spectrum. 

We have deployed this way, and if the upper channels are reallocated, we will need to update our network of road-side units (RSUs) -- not an easy task. Wouldn't a better solution be to deploy DSRC now, save lives and prevent injuries now, and work on a solution that involves DSRC and CV2X working in a complimentary fashion rather than this all-or-nothing mentality? 

Furthermore, the next step should be a real-world test of CV2X in a DSRC environment, preferably in Ann Arbor. Testing on the bench is one thing, but deploying in a commercial environment is quite another.

Debra Bezzina is Connected Working Group lead for Mcity and the Managing Director of the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Newsletter comments or content? Contact:
Craig Bryson 
(248) 645 2000 
Intelligent Transportation Society of Michigan (ITS Michigan)