If you’re still defrosting from the 10 inches of snow that covered DC at the 2019 TRB Annual Meeting two weeks ago, you aren’t alone. Thousands of traffic professionals from around the world trekked through snowy DC to attend this conference, and most of us didn’t bring our snowshoes. Though the weather was exciting, the real action took place on the floor at TRB with autonomous cars and shuttles, students eager to learn, POLICYSMART, and more.
TRB was my first tradeshow with GRIDSMART, and it didn’t disappoint. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the show was understanding how the industry interacts with the GRIDSMART Brand.
We are Traffic Control Freaks. You’ve seen it in our newsletters, our blogs, and at tradeshows. We’re proud of this title, and our Traffic Control Freaks banner is a conversation starter for many attendees. At TRB, several attendees stopped at our booth because they saw “Traffic Control” at our booth and immediately knew what we do at GRIDSMART. Other attendees stooped because they loved the phrase. One attendee commented, “I’ve been by many trade show booths today for companies in ITS. This is the first one I stopped at because your branding is clever and spoke to me. I am a traffic control freak too.”
Regina Hopper, the voice behind POLICYSMART, recorded live on site throughout TRB. Throughout Sunday and Monday, attendees such as Courtney Ehrlichman, founder of The Ehrlichman Group, and co-founder of RoadBotics; Dr. Susan Shaheen, UC-Berkeley; and Carrie Morton, Mcity Deputy Director and more sat down to speak about the latest technology and news in the industry. Ehrlichman’s episode is already live, but stay tuned to see our episodes featuring Dr. Shaheen, Morton, and more exciting guests, rolling out in the next few weeks.
Another thing you might see rolling out is the Keolis Bus. During TRB, Keolis conducted a demonstration of their autonomous shuttle manufactured by NAYVA. Attendees of TRB lined up to ride in the autonomous shuttle, myself included. The shuttle sat about 15 people and a few standing passengers. It was my first time in a driverless vehicle, and the absence of a steering wheel and driver was foreign to me.
The Keolis bus operator shared that the bus currently operates in two locations in North America: Las Vegas and Canada. During the presentation, an employee walked in front of the moving shuttle while pretending to text on his mobile. Keolis’ autonomous shuttle came to a halt and honked its horn at the pedestrian. The sound of the horn was loud enough to catch any pedestrian or driver’s attention. After the pedestrian moved out of the way, the bus resumed its average speed and route. Attendees didn’t want to miss their opportunity to ride the bus. Speaking of missed opportunities, I think Keolis should have named their autonomous shuttle the “Autonobus.”
I hope you had the chance to stop by and visit us while in DC. If you missed us, head on over to our events page so you can catch us at the next show.
Written by Brooke McGee, Marketing Communications Coordinator