The Emerging Mobility Summit held in Columbus, OH, April 24-25th brought together over 150 subject matter experts and entrepreneurs from around the country along with local stakeholders from the greater Columbus region. The sold-out event featured small facilitated discussions that stimulated lively exchanges on the future of transportation and mobility to identify ways to overcome challenges, opportunities for research, and what might be in store for the future of TDM.
Rob Henry, GVF, President of the ACT National Board, shared his vision for what led to the creation of this ground-breaking event. “As mobility options continue to evolve at an ever-quickening pace, we wanted to provide an opportunity for our members and the industry to step back to discuss what these changes mean for TDM and how do we ensure we achieve our goals of reducing congestion and improving the livability of our communities. Through the efforts of ACT Board Member Beth Snoke, The Ohio State University, ACT was able to host this inaugural event in Columbus, the epicenter of the smart cities movement and a showcase for new mobility technology.”
In the hours since the event has ended, many attendees have expressed enthusiasm and thanks for the opportunity to come together, saying they found the summit very worthwhile and that they enjoyed the stimulating conversations in the 11 facilitated discussion groups such as “Government as a Mobility Accelerator” and “Identifying Research Needs to Support Future TDM.” Many new questions and opportunities became evident through these conversations, including how to best integrate new mobility options within existing services, the need for data sharing, the importance of local leadership, and the need for more research.
Exciting panelists contributed to the Emerging Mobility Summit’s success with thoughtful commentary on such topics as Columbus Smart City updates, microtransit, and campus research innovations. The event concluded with a tour of the Transportation Research Center outside Columbus, where we received an intriguing glimpse into the range of testing performed on land vehicles for durability and performance, as well as, the center’s upcoming development of a 540-acre SMART Center, a state-of-the-art facility for automated and autonomous vehicle testing.
The event also featured the official launch of the Center for TDM, ACT’s new non-profit that will focus on shaping and advancing transportation demand management to improve our nation’s mobility. In the near term, the Center for TDM will be looking at opportunities to create a central clearinghouse for TDM research and will identify new research topics and seek funding support and collaborations for TDM research.
Transportation will continue to evolve, and as it does, ACT plans to stay on the leading edge of advancements being made in TDM. The Emerging Mobility Summit proved to be a great new event for ACT, and we look forward to seeing the what changes take place between now and our next summit in 2019.