Transportation Innovators at SXSW

The Forrest Four-Cast: February 20, 2017

Another huge theme at SXSW 2017 will be the continued disruption of our longtime / traditional transportation systems. While many of these sessions are found in the “Intelligent Future” track, panels and presentations that address this topic are also found in “Government” and “Tech Industry.” 15 of the most ahead-of-the-curve transpiration-related speakers who will be part of March Magic in Austin include:

  1. Jamie Boone. As Director of Government Affairs for the Consumer Technology Association, Boone focuses on policy relating to privacy, transportation, self-driving vehicles and drones. She will be part of the Tuesday, March 14 panel “The Rise of Self-Driving and Connected Cars.”
  2. Marlene Connor. Boasting more 30 years of experience in transportation management and planning, Connor has worked on a wide range of public transportation planning projects in modes from ADA paratransit to Bus Rapid Transit. She will be part of the “How to Uber-ize Public Transit to Save It” session on Monday, March 13.
  3. Paul DeLong. Based in Austin, DeLong serves as President and CEO of the point to point automobile sharing service car2go. He will speak on the “Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads (Maybe)” session on Sunday, March 12. Also participating on this talk is Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America CEO Arwed Niestroj.
  4. Bill Ford. The Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, he leads the company that put the world on wheels into the 21st century. On Monday, March 13, Ford and Doug Newcomb from the Connected Car Conference (C3) talk about Smart Mobility.
  5. Anthony Foxx. Formerly the Secretary of Transportation for President Obama, Foxx will be part of the “Beyond Driverless Cars: Our Transportation Future” panel on Tuesday, March 14. This session will focus on fundamental transformation of our transportation system — what it calls the “biggest economic opportunity in America.”
  6. Ginger Goodin. At the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in Austin, Goodin has spearheaded leading-edge research and supported the practical application of innovative strategies with Central Texas transportation agencies since 1996. She will be part of the “Self-Driving Cars and the Policy Maze” session on Saturday, March 11.
  7. George Hotz. He once unlocked the iPhone — then got sued by Sony for hacking the PS3. Now Hotz has turned his attention to the automotive industry. Don’t miss his “The Real Future of Self Driving Cars” presentation on Friday, March 10.
  8. Weiwei Hu. She is the founder and president of Mobike, a Beijing-based startup. In early January, Mobike announced its $215 million Series D funding. Hear her talk about the next generation of pedal-powered mobility on “New Chinese Smart Hardware Unlocks New Business” on Saturday, March 11.
  9. Catherine McCullough. She is the Executive Director of the Intelligent Car Coalition, a group that leads discussion and advocacy on connected car public policy in Washington, DC. McCullough and Nathaniel Beuse of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will discuss “Semi-Autonomous Cars: How to Train the Humans” on Saturday, March 11.
  10. Congressman Seth Moulton. A Democrat from the Sixth District of Massachusetts, Moulton previously served four tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantry officer, including two as an infantry platoon commander and two as a Special Assistant to General David Petraeus. Listen to his insights about transportation 2.0 on the “Elevator to Hyperloop: Policy Advancements” panel on Saturday, March 11.
  11. Seval Oz. She previously served as Head of Global Strategic Partnerships for the Self-Driving Car Project at GoogleX, a role in which she was integral in the business development and marketing efforts surrounding the launch of autonomous vehicles. At SXSW, Oz lends her voice to the “How Will Trump Steer Car and Transportation Tech?” panel on Thursday, March 16.
  12. Blake Scholl. He is founder and CEO of Bloom Technologies, Denver-based startup that is developing an economical supersonic airliner. Catch Scholl on Sunday, March 12 at the “Boom! Bringing Back Supersonic Flight” panel.
  13. Danny Shapiro. The Senior Director of NVIDIA’s Automotive Business Unit, Shapiro is devoted to solutions that enable faster and better design of automobiles, as well as in-vehicle solutions for self-driving cars, infotainment systems, and digital instrument clusters. Catch his solo presentation “Accelerating the Race to Self-Driving Cars” on Sunday, March 12.
  14. Padmasree Warrior. Called the “Queen of the Electric Car Biz” by Fortune magazine, Warrior is the US CIO for NIO, an electric car startup with offices in San Jose, Munich, London, and Shanghai. At SXSW, she will deliver a solo presentation titled “Uncovering Autonomy’s Blind Spot” on Saturday, March 11 at the JW Marriott. She is pictured above.
  15. Dieter Zetsche. The CEO of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Zetsche travels to Texas from Germany to talk about the “Future of Autonomous Driving: Master the Map” on Saturday, March 11.

If transportation is not your main area of interest at SXSW 2017, then use the “Search” button at the top right corner of the online schedule to find sessions that focus on the topic that you are looking for.

Also remember that the new SXSW badge system empowers you to find even more of the topic of you are looking for within the 1000+ sessions that run from March 10–18. After you purchase your registration, then start setting up meetings with other creative innovators from across the United States and around the world via the SXSW Social networking platform.

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.