2017 Washington Auto Show expands MobilityTalks, extending Industry/Media Days, Jan. 24-26

2017 Washington Auto Show expands MobilityTalks, extending Industry/Media Days, Jan. 24-26

Thanks to a lot of hard work and intensive planning, the 2017 Washington Auto Show rolled out two days of panels, breakout sessions, technical demonstrations and ride-drives on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Wednesday, Jan. 25 as MobilityTalks International preceded Media Day on Thursday, Jan 26. Audience reviews were positive and the assembled panelists and assorted commentators were knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their respective parts of the global automotive conversation.

With more than 35,000 Americans killed on the road every year, –autonomous cars will save a lot of time, money and heartbreak,” said John Bozzella, CEO of Global Automakers, in opening the event.

At the recent CES (CES) in Las Vegas, almost every major automaker announced its own autonomous cars, Bozzella said. Regulations on connected and autonomous cars will be crucial, and no one knows what to expect.

–Little of substance has been said about regulations and laws for the next four years,” Bozzella said. The uncertainty of the new administrationês policies was a theme throughout the MobilityTalks and on Industry/Media Day, as both were in the first week after Trump took office. Harmonization of regulations, both federal and state, and among different countries, was another theme.

The other opening speaker, Dr. France Crdova, director of the National Science Foundation, spoke of the importance of basic research in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet of things. Industry-funded research is usually short-term and specifically targeted, but basic research is high risk and long term, Crdova said. It can be decades before the results are used.

NSF-funded research has led to important mobility innovations in LCD monitors for backup cameras and in-car GPS, said Crdova. NSF funded an autonomous vehicle designed and built by Carnegie-Mellon University, driven from Pittsburgh to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and on display there during the Washington Auto Show Industry/Media Days.

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