By Yousuf Taufiq,
ITS Michigan President
Assistant Vice President, Manager, Michigan Traffic and ITS Engineering,
WSP USA / WSP Michigan Inc.
As technology evolves and becomes more mature, the application of technologies in our transportation system will improve and enhance safety, mobility and efficiency on our roadways.
Right here in Michigan, industries and organizations representing the public, private and academic research institutions are moving the needle forward to make this state a hub of mobility innovation that will transform the transportation system for the better. Exciting things are happening right here in Michigan, with the expected opening of the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in December, and the testing of autonomous applications at the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron by the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).
In late September, ITS Michigan held its annual meeting in Detroit. The theme, “Life on Planet M” emphasized not only the great things that are happening now in Planet M, but helped to start dialog about what the future of Planet M will be in a world of mobility solutions enabled by ITS, open innovation, connected and automated vehicles (C/AV), cyber security, shared use/multi-modal mobility solutions and the built environment to support it all.
We lined up a diverse set of panelists to discuss how we are enhancing our people to keep up with the changes in technologies, to examine how we can make Michigan cities “smart,” to assess what role ITS and mobility will play in the growth of our economy, and to explore where we are headed in the race for automation.
The event was wildly successful and included a diverse group of speakers who provided an interesting range of perspectives. The annual meeting could not be possible without the support for our sponsor organizations. Thank you for your contributions to the event.
I also want to personally thank all who attended and participated in the event. Your involvement in the annual meeting reminds us just how important our work is.
Thank you to NextEnergy for hosting the meeting at their facility and for providing participant tours of various electrification and mobility concepts. And, of course, a sincere thank you to all ITS Michigan member volunteers for bringing the event to fruition.
At the event, we honored one of our own members, Richard (Dick) Beaubien for his contribution to the success of the ITS Michigan organization since its inception. Dick has been one of the major anchors of the ITS Michigan Board, providing his leadership and guidance for the last two decades. He continues to engage transportation professionals in meaningful ways through his work with the Traffic Incident-Management Committee. Thank you, Dick!
It’s been an exciting year thus far, and our organization has accomplished so much! We are looking forward to next year as we welcome ITS America members to Detroit for the ITS America Annual Meeting in June 2018. In addition, we look forward to continuing our bi-monthly technical “lunch and learns,” and networking events.
Thank you all for your continued support for ITS Michigan.