ITE/WTS/ITS Autonomous Vehicle Luncheon

The Illinois Section of ITE was proud to co-host a luncheon panel event with ITS Midwest and WTS Greater Chicago Chapter on June 27th.  The panel, moderated by Ann Schlenker of Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Transportation Research, focused on the opportunities and barriers for the future deployment of autonomous vehicles, particularly in Illinois.  The panel included:

  • Rep. Michael Zalewski: Illinois State Representative from the 23rd District

  • Jerry Quandt: Executive Director from the Illinois Autonomous Vehicles Association

  • Aimee Lee: Senior Manager of Strategic Planning from the Illinois Tollway

  • Terry Heffron: ITS Unit Manager from IDOT’s ITS Program Office

Our speakers discussed priorities, leadership opportunities, and the challenges ahead in terms of AV deployment.  Representative Zalewski, who has sponsored two AV bills in the Illinois assembly, provided key insights as to how the Illinois legislature is working to tackle this constantly changing topic.  Jerry, who has led ILAVA for its 18-month existence, described his organization's role in facilitating the conversations between the private vehicle manufacturing industry, the public sector (DOTs), and the legislative arm of government.  Aimee and Terry both dove into what their agencies are doing to prepare, and what other agencies can look for as AV technologies and policies move forward.

In the years ahead, there are many questions which still need to be answered:

  1. What will the vehicle ownership model look like when AV technology becomes more mainstream?

  2. What kind of disruption will AV technology have on freight and mass transit?

  3. What role does government play as things move forward? How much do states take on versus the federal government?

  4. Will AV technologies deploy in an equitable fashion?

Thank you so much to our moderator, Ann, our panel, and our 100+ attendees for making this event such a success!