As ITS advances around the world, leaders are trying to ascertain how all the pieces can work together, not just the technical applications, but also private industry, government and innovators.

European delegates at the 23rd World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, 10-14 October, Melbourne, will have the opportunity to hear from Michigan’s Kirk Steudle who knows the challenges of fostering collaboration across varied agencies working on Intelligent Transportation Systems.

His early embrace of the need to make mobility smarter by allowing vehicles to talk to each other — and to the infrastructure — has established him as an international expert in the field.

But as director of the Department of Transportation in the auto state, he has also assumed the role of facilitator in chief as disparate agencies carve out their space in an unprecedented time of mobility disruption. This is what will inform his talk at the 23rd ITS World Congress in Melbourne, Australia Oct. 10-14.

“It’s more than herding cats,” he says. “It’s cats, antelopes, jaguars and turtles.” His role finds him routinely juggling the interests of government, automakers, startups and a robust research and development community, each with its own interests.

“This is why Planet M is so vital,” he said, referring to a branding effort announced by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder in May. Planet M is the broad umbrella under which all things mobility can evolve.”

Clearly, these are just the kinds of issues ITS leaders around the world are struggling with today, exactly the kinds of issue that will be discussed at the 23rd World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. The gathering will feature more than 300 Organizations and businesses in the World Congress Exhibition center, including Australian, Asia Pacific and global brands specializing in IoT, autonomous and connected vehicles and transport technology infrastructure.

With more than 900 Plenary, Executive, Special Interest and Technical sessions at the award winning Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, technical tours and live demonstrations, the World Congress will give attendees the opportunity to meet up with governments, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators in the recently voted World’s most liveable city.

With Steudle at the MDOT helm, the state and its business partners have created a thriving transportation research and development community that continues to be a leader in setting the tone for the next iteration of transportation. All these efforts gave birth to Planet M and its many components. Just over a year ago, arguably the most advanced connected and autonomous vehicle test bed in the nation, Mcity, launched at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Since then, the wheels of innovation have continued to turn. The state in collaboration with Ford, GM, the University of Michigan and other partners recently announced the expansion of a “smart corridor” on 350 miles of major highways designed for connected vehicle testing and equipped with vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology.

“My job as a state DOT director and as a road manager is to get us from today’s reality where society seems to accept far too many traffic deaths. My passion for this technology stems from my belief in a future where we eliminate fatal crashes. That is also why MDOT has embraced the Toward Zero Deaths campaign.”

Kirk Steudle will be presented with the ITS America, Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 ITS World Congress. You can also hear him in Executive Session 10, Mobility as a Service, 8.30am-10.00am, Plenary Hall 3 on Friday 14 October.

Register now to attend