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ITS America launches global competition to develop future transportation leaders – Traffic Technology Today


Following the successful conclusion of the 26th ITS World Congress (ITSWC) in Singapore and while the smart transportation community prepares for next year’s event, the 2020 host, ITS America, has launched a new program designed to create opportunities for tomorrow’s intelligent mobility leaders by targeting a diverse group of students in the USA and abroad.

ITS America’s new Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), which will culminate at next year’s ITSWC in Los Angeles, hopes to identify potential leaders who will become part of the future intelligent transportation workforce. The ELP has three components:

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  • A Global Challenge for college students with a finals event in Los Angeles at the ITS World Congress;
  • A National Immersion Program for high school students across the country;
  • A Local Awareness Program, which will provide opportunities for high school students in the Los Angeles metropolitan area to visit the exhibition floor.

The Global Challenge is a new program specifically developed for the 2020 ITSWC. Organizers will recruit teams of university students from across the world to solve a mobility puzzle, potentially related to the upcoming 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Three teams from differing geographic regions from around the world will be selected in advance and will travel to the ITSWC in Los Angeles for the final competition.

The National Immersion Program will also feature a pre-event competition related to intelligent mobility, this time for high school students throughout the USA. Up to three teams will be selected to showcase their solution at the ITSWC, which will also feature programming specifically developed for these teams. Taking place from October 4-8 in California, the 2020 ITSWC theme is ‘The New Age of Mobility’.

The Local Awareness Program will offer high school students and their teachers from the greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area an opportunity to experience hundreds of mobility solutions that will be part of the ITSWC exhibit floor. The college and high school pre-event competitions will take place during this school year, and the on-site activities will be scheduling throughout next year’s World Congress.

Beth Kigel, vice president of HNTB Corp and chair of ITS America’s Emerging Leaders Program, commented, “As an industry, we need to work harder to engage and develop young professionals who will extend our progress and become the next generation of leaders.”



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