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The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System

A Volpe Thought Leadership Series

Automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, sensing technology, and computing will transform the future of travel and commerce. Technological advances continue to change the national and global transportation landscape at an unprecedented pace.

As the private sector drives innovation across all modes, there is potential for dramatic impacts on the safety and efficiency of the future transportation system and the composition of the nation’s transportation workforce.

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s 2017 speaker series—The Ongoing Transformation of the Global Transportation System—explored challenges and opportunities affecting the advancement of transportation systems.

Event News and Video

Transportation in a World That Is Gray, Delayed, Small, and Female

December 13, 2017

Joseph Coughlin
Founder and Director, MIT AgeLab

Joseph F. Coughlin, founder and director of the MIT AgeLab, discussed how an aging American population will shape the nation's transportation system.

Read the news story "Transportation in a World That Is Gray, Delayed, Small, and Female" and view video highlights from this event.

How Much Time Do Americans Spend Behind the Wheel?

December 4, 2017

Don Pickrell
Chief Economist, Volpe Center

U.S. DOT Volpe Center Chief Economist Don Pickrell and a team of Volpe Center data experts recently completed an in-depth study for the Federal Highway Administration to produce detailed statistics on travel speeds and vehicle hours traveled that can provide new levels of insight into how the nation’s roads are performing. Pickrell presented results from this study during his talk.

Read the news story "How Much Time Do Americans Spend Behind the Wheel?" and view video highlights from this event.

The Emergent eVTOL Market

November 28, 2017

Carl C. Dietrich
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Terrafugia

Getting stuck in traffic isn’t just a nuisance. On an aggregate level, traffic can have major financial impacts for cities and countries. Aviation innovator Carl C. Dietrich, PhD, co-founder and chief technology officer of Terrafugia, explains the potential to use the space right above our heads to relieve automobile congestion.  

Read the news story "Leveraging the Space Above Our Heads and the Emergent eVTOL Market" and view video highlights from this event.

Putting Safety in the Driver's Seat

October 26, 2017

Harry M. Lightsey III
Executive Director, Emerging Technologies Policy, General Motors North America Public Policy

Technology is advancing, societal trends are changing, and new visions for self-driving vehicles are emerging. Harry Lightsey of General Motors provided a manufacturer’s perspective on how self-driving cars are putting safety in the driver’s seat.

Read the news story "Putting Safety in the Driver’s Seat" and view video highlights from this event.

Rethinking the Human-Autonomy Team Architecture

October 17, 2017

Amy R. Pritchett
Professor and Head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

With automation appearing more and more across daily life—including in air and ground travel—tasks we think of as belonging to humans may soon be taken over by computers, and there could be consequences that haven’t yet been imagined, said Amy Pritchett, who talked about transportation system architectures for how humans and autonomous systems can interact. 

Read the news story "Rethinking the Human-Autonomy Architecture" and view video highlights from this event.

Safer at Any Speed: Cybersafety for Connected Vehicles

October 5, 2017

Joshua Corman
Chief Security Officer, PTC

Things everywhere are getting smarter—and increasingly connected. But the more connected things are, the more hackable they become. So far, connectivity is outpacing cybersafety, according to Joshua Corman, who discussed cybersafety in an increasingly hackable world.

Read the news story "Safer at Any Speed: Cybersafety for Connected Vehicles" and view video highlights from this event.

Autonomy for Humans in the 21st Century City

September 21, 2017

Jeffrey Schnapp
Co-Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Founder/Director, metaLAB (at) Harvard

Jeffrey Schnapp kicked off Volpe’s 2017 speaker series with his human-centric vision for the autonomous vehicle revolution. 

Read the news story "Autonomy for Humans in the 21st Century City" and view video highlights from this event.

Updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2018