ITS Texas Annual Meeting Wrap Up: How Texas is Deploying Solutions for Safer, More Efficient Transport
The City of Irving, Texas, was the host for this year’s ITS Texas Annual Meeting. With a range of planned technical sessions and learning opportunities, the conference brought together transportation professionals from across the public and private sector for three days of workshops, presentations, academic learning, and vendor exhibition.
As a state that consistently showcases their commitment to transportation innovation and safety, the ITS Texas Annual Meeting proved no different. Kicked off by the City of Irving’s Mayor, Honorable Rick Stopfer, workshops and presentations throughout the three-day conference focused on improving highway safety, state operations and management, and connected and automated transportation.
Joining other transportation professionals looking to leverage innovative technology to promote safer and more efficient transport, the UrbanLogiq team travelled down for the second consecutive year to attend and present at the ITS Texas Annual Conference.
ITS on the Road to Zero
With a full-day workshop focusing on highway safety on day 1 and a Vision Zero session on day 2, the conference illustrated the leading role that the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) and the state of Texas have taken on promoting safe transportation initiatives.
With numerous state-wide safety campaigns – such as the ‘Heads Up, Texas’ campaign to curb distracted driving and the #EndTheStreakTX campaign to end the 19-year streak of daily fatalities on Texas’ roadways – the conference served invaluable in bringing transportation professionals together to discuss the broader mission of reducing injuries and fatalities on Texas roadways. This was reinforced during the technical session on Vision Zero, which included perspectives from Stephen Ratke of the Federal Highway Administration, as well as Joseph Hunt and John Giannotti from the Texas Department of Transportation.
“Texas has set a goal to reduce the number of deaths on Texas roadways by half by the year 2035 and to zero by the year 2050” – Texas Department of Transportation
Included in the session on improving roadway safety and achieving the road to zero in Texas was UrbanLogiq’s CEO, Mark Masongsong, who spoke on the valuable role that crash data plays in improving transportation operations and safety.
A Training Ground for Automated Vehicles
A prominent objective of ITS Texas Annual Conferences is bringing together professionals from across the transportation sector to discuss state-wide experiences and learnings from new projects, initiatives, and studies.
With two technical sessions focusing on connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) at this year’s conference, transportation professionals descended upon Irving, Texas, to present their experiences and visions for CAVs in the Lone Star State. This included presentations on Texas’ Connected and Automated Vehicle Taskforce, autonomous vehicle transportation studies, and how data spurred from these technologies can be put to use. The result was a confirmation that CAV deployments in Texas are not just for show, but instead leading to safety improvements, operational efficiencies, and valuable data generation.
In fact, connected and automated vehicle deployments are no new endeavor for the state of Texas. With Texas’ progressive legislation around automation and their ideal driving conditions, it’s no surprise that the state has proven as a training ground for CAV proofs-of-concept and pilot projects. With state legislation around autonomous vehicles first being introduced in 2017, and a pilot project unleashing self-driving vehicles in the City of Frisco shortly thereafter, Texas has proven they are one of the nation’s leaders when it comes to CAV initiatives.