Five years ago, we launched INTERSECT, a new way for transportation professionals to learn and grow at GRIDSMART Headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee. INTERSECT’s mission is to train and educate technicians, engineers, and transportation leaders. This conference has always been the gathering place for ITS professionals to participate in an open forum and discussion on the direction and development of technology for the nation’s evolving mobility. 

This year will be no different as we prepare to put our “Boots on the Ground.” Our schedule is loaded with technical training; J.R. Martinez, our keynote speaker, brings a remarkable story of perseverance and overcoming obstacles; and we’ve selected unique Knoxville locations for everyone to unwind at the end of the day. And yes, we will absolutely provide the southern meals synonymous with INTERSECT. 

However, our team is never comfortable sticking with a formula simply because it has seen success. We pushed ourselves to identify new ways to enhance the event. We’ve updated our format to improve your experience without removing any of the sparkles that make INTERSECT unique. 

While I can’t give away every detail of what we have planned for October, here are a few nuggets of information for our long-term attendees.

First, we completely revamped our daily schedule. In the spirit of GRIDSMART simplicity, training sessions, keynote speakers, and panel sessions will no longer compete for your attention. Our schedule will only include two daily speaking sessions, a mix of panels, and keynote speakers. 

Why? Because we heard your feedback requesting advanced training, so that’s exactly what we plan to deliver. We aren’t eliminating general information courses, but our primary offering will be intermediate and advanced training classes, digging in deep on topics such as deep-learning, cloud and software technology, big data, controllers, security, and more. 

We have invited technical experts to bring their real-world knowledge to the classroom and are building a training schedule on topics spanning the spectrum of ITS. INTERSECT training sessions qualify for TARP and PDH credits to maintain your industry certifications. Shameless plug for early registration! INTERSECT attendees can register for training classes on August 1, two weeks before the general public. 

Next up is the Enhanced INTERSECT Experience. GRIDSMART still sponsors INTERSECT registration fees, but we’ve upped our offerings with new experiences. We always stress the importance of hands-on training; The Build Your Own GS2 Experience pairs you directly with a GRIDSMART Production Technician to build your city’s GS2 Processor. 

Last year we rolled out SMARTMOUNT2025, our fiber solution. All SMARTMOUNT2025 installations require certification completion and the SMARTConnect Toolkit. You can knock out the certification process during INTERSECT and have access to our full team of IMSA Certified Field Application Engineers. You can view all ticket options here.  

And last, we realize we are in unprecedented times due to COVID-19. We are moving forward with plans to host a physical event in Knoxville. We will adjust if needed and put our “Boots on the Ground” to improve transportation, virtually or in person. We hope to see you in October!

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