SXSW is a festival that needs no introduction. The latest and greatest in music, film, and tech are premiered to the world during the multi-day event that takes place in Austin, TX every March. This year, transportation issues were at the forefront, with several panels discussing the future of transportation. Special guests included U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who “announced the creation of the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council, an internal deliberative body at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) tasked with identifying and resolving jurisdictional and regulatory gaps that may impede the deployment of new technology, such as tunneling, hyperloop, autonomous vehicles, and other innovations” (transportation.gov). In the midst of the all this transportation talk was CM2.
Assistant Director for Research, Lisa Loftus-Otway, M.P.Aff.; LL.M, served as a panelist for the USDOT panel “Transportation Innovation at a Crossroads”. Speaking alongside Shailen Bhatt of ITS America, Alex Fitzsimmons from the US Department of Energy, and Finch Fulton from the US Department of Transportation, Lisa discussed how federal investments can augment private sector tech innovation in transportation. The panel received a lot of social media buzz and attendees commented on how the panelists seemed to have known each other for a lifetime, despite meeting for the first time at the conference. The group are already planning another panel for next year’s conference, continuing the discussion of disruption tech and automation’s effects on the transportation industry.
Thank you to Melanie Norrell and Susanna Gallun for the photos.