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The Future of Transportation: Safety, Opportunity, and Innovation

A Volpe Thought Leadership Series

Transportation innovation is happening at an unprecedented pace. From driverless cars to unmanned deliveries to smart cities, innovation and new technologies are key to the future of a safe, reliable transportation system that helps more Americans reach economic opportunity.

We’re entering a transportation landscape rich with possibility, and full of challenges. The next decade could bring more change to transportation and to the transportation workforce than we saw over the past century.

The Future of Transportation: Safety, Opportunity, and Innovation brought together top transportation innovators who are thinking beyond the horizon on these important issues. This speaker series kicked off on June 27, 2016.

    Event News and Video

    Highly Automated Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities

    November 9, 2016

    Mark Rosekind, PhD
    Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Fatal crashes are increasing, but nearly all of them are theoretically preventable, said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind, who spoke at Volpe about strategies and actions to achieve zero deaths on America’s roads.

    Read the news story, "Traveling the Road to Zero Vehicle Fatalities."

    Exploring the Interplay Between Cities and Transportation

    October 26, 2016

    Edward Glaeser, PhD
    Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

    As much as ever, transportation technologies are shaping America’s cities. Technology is changing quickly, and smart, sensible transportation is part of realizing an inclusive American dream, said Harvard University economics professor Edward Glaeser during his talk at Volpe.

    Read the news story, "Exploring the Interplay Between Cities and Transportation."

    Reimagining Transportation from the Internet Up

    October 21, 2016

    Daniel L. Doctoroff
    Chairman and CEO, Sidewalk Labs

    Imagine you lived in a city completely wired for connectivity, with comprehensive data about where people want to go. How would you use this insight to reimagine a transportation system that's more affordable, equitable, and efficient? In his talk, Daniel Doctoroff, chairman and CEO of Sidewalk Labs, explored this question.

    Read the news story, "Reimagining Transportation from the Internet Up with Dan Doctoroff," and view video from this event:

    Government at the Speed of Silicon Valley

    October 6, 2016

    J. Christian Gerdes, PhD
    U.S. DOT Chief Innovation Officer

    Can the federal government possibly keep pace with private-sector innovators? In this talk, U.S. DOT Chief Innovation Officer Chris Gerdes discussed prototyping as a technique for rapid learning and described a number of ways in which U.S. DOT is harnessing this approach to improve safety and provide opportunity.

    Read the news story, "Government at the Speed of Silicon Valley," and view video from this event:

    Joint Panel on Urban Mobility

    September 29, 2016

    Robin Chase
    Co-Founder and Former CEO of ZipCar, Buzzcar, and GoLoco, and Co-Founder, Veniam

    Anthony Townsend, PhD
    Senior Research Scientist, New York University

    Austin Brown
    Assistant Director for Clean Energy and Transportation, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President

    Automated vehicles are coming sooner than you might think, according to two leading thinkers in transportation. Volpe recently hosted Robin Chase and Anthony Townsend for a special joint panel on vehicle automation and urban mobility, moderated by Austin Brown of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

    Read the news story, "Robin Chase and Anthony Townsend on Automated Vehicles and Urban Mobility," and view video from this event:

    From Transit to Access: Rethinking How Cities Connect Their Residents to Opportunity

    September 23, 2016

    Ben Hecht
    President and CEO, Living Cities

    Transportation infrastructure can be a catalyst for change, connecting city residents to opportunity. In fact, transportation may be the most important way we have to address disparities in income and wealth, according to Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities, who spoke as part of Volpe's Future of Transportation series.

    Read the news story, "Rethinking How Cities Connect Residents to Opportunity."

    Making Cities for and with People

    September 8, 2016

    Jeff Risom
    Partner and Managing Director, Gehl Studio in the U.S.

    Residential density, intersection density, public transport density, and number of parks are physical elements that can have real, positive impacts on a city’s residents, according to Jeff Risom, partner and managing director of Gehl Studio in the U.S. During this event, Risom discussed people-centric design and the need for collaboration across various institutions and backgrounds to create appealing spaces for people.

    Read the news story, "Reformulating Citites Using People-Centric Designs."

    Autonomy and Shared Mobility in the Urban Environment

    July 11, 2016

    Emilio Frazzoli, PhD
    Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, nuTonomy

    Vehicle automation presents a huge opportunity for our society and economy in terms of car ownership and operation. During this event, Dr. Emilio Frazzoli discussed the possibilities and potential impacts of combining autonomous vehicles with ride-sharing technologies.

    Read the news story, "Autonomy and Shared Mobility in the Urban Environment."

    Secretary Foxx Looks Toward the Future of Transportation

    June 27, 2016

    Anthony Foxx
    U.S. Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation 

    With rapid changes to technology and the increasing needs of a growing population, the United States must rethink how it delivers transportation. The future of our transportation must meet new challenges and close opportunity gaps. During this event, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explored the necessary steps to develop safe and efficient mobility for everyone.

    Read the news story, "Secretary Foxx Looks Toward the Future of Transportation."

    Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2018