The ITS World Congress kicked off on Sunday.

The Opening Ceremony astounded the audience with groundbreaking news from General Motors CEO Mary Barra, jaw-dropping entertainment including a flash mob, and exciting addresses from regional representatives and ITS World Congress Chair and HNTB Corporation Vice President of ITS Jim Barbaresso, Michigan DOT Director Kirk Steudle, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Mike Finney.

The High Level Policy Roundtable featuring CEO of HNTB Infrastructure Robert Slimp and public officials from around the world also proved to be a memorable event and a prelude of great things to come. 

Monday started with the first Plenary Session at 8:30 a.m., featuring a special keynote conversation between Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford and Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company magazine Robert Safian, before a panel discussion on “Reinventing Policy to Support the New ITS.”

Following the plenary session, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be held for the exhibit hall at 10:15 a.m. On Belle Isle at 11:00 a.m., another ribbon cutting ceremony will take place for the Technology Showcase. You will not be able to drive to and park on Belle Isle and must take the shuttle from Cobo. With 250 exhibiting companies and more than 30 interactive demonstrations, the variety of innovative technologies at this year’s event is staggering.

General sessions, the exhibit hall, and the Technology Showcase will run throughout the rest of the day. At noon, the first of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Summit sessions begins. Keynoted by Delphi Automotive CEO Rodney O’Neal, this CTO Summit Plenary discussion will center around ITS in the future.

Monday’s program closes with the Exhibitors Welcome & Regional Receptions at 4:30 p.m. in the exhibit hall. This is the perfect opportunity for the international exhibitors, regional and national ITS associations, and Michigan host community to welcome attendees for an important networking event.