On Tuesday, Alex Dowling and I were kindly given the opportunity to attend the Intelligent Transportation Society – Michigan’s annual meeting and exposition. Held at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, the conference featured several speakers from various backgrounds, exhibits by companies working with all aspects of intelligent transportation technology, and some pretty nifty demos.
We spoke with companies that make sensors that will relay info about traffic conditions, intersection issues, and hazards to an operator or to other vehicles on the road. Others made intelligent traffic lights that will change their timing based on the nature of the traffic flow at the time. There were weather sensors that are placed in the pavement to report when road conditions may become slippery, and companies such as Motorola that featured communication solutions.
It was a beautiful day, so naturally we were drawn outside to the demos. A truck by Ford and Sprint featured a built-in computer with internet access. MDOT showed vehicles with vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, the code for which was partially written by team alumni. As we were driven around the block in one of these vans, a screen informed us how long we had to wait before the red light in front of us would turn green and, later, that an emergency vehicle was approaching.
The conference was a great opportunity to network with professionals and to learn about some really cool technology. Thanks very much to the coordinators for allowing us to attend.
- Rachel Kramer, Interim Strategy Director