Cars roaming the streets of San Francisco without a driver (the famous autonomous vehicles!), endless roads and people from all over the world have flown into the mists of San Francisco, including our coordinator Giulia Renzi (ICOOR-UNIMORE), to attend TRB’s 2023 Automated Road Transportation Symposium.

Convened by TRB, the 2023 Automated Road Transportation Symposium (ARTS) has taken place between July 9th and July 13th, 2023 in San Francisco, California. The symposium convened global thought leaders from industry, government, and research communities to collaborate on the opportunities and challenges associated with automating road transportation. This year’s symposium has provided updates on the current research and development, advanced engineering progress, and field deployment results. The symposium has also provided a strong focus on issues impacting the USDOT and state DOTs resulting from road vehicle automation advancements.

Giulia Renzi was the speaker in two sessions that delt with themes strongly related with the SINFONICA studies:

  • 333: Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) with Automated Vehicles (AVs). During this section, participants (but also speakers) have learned about how automated vehicles (AVs) are supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in projects throughout the USA (SINFONICA was the special guests from Europe!). These projects focus on automated shuttles and buses, automated grocery and package delivery vehicles, and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) or drones serving disabled individuals underrepresented groups, and disadvantaged communities. The session shared recent experiences, including insights from user surveys, technology applications, and stakeholder outreach activities. Participants were engaged in discussing best practices, issues and opportunities in expanding applications of AVs to support DEI and to provide access to jobs, education, and healthy foods for all individuals. The information generated from the session aimed to developing further mobility options to help inform decision making, identify research needs, and support future deployments. Our coordinator Giulia Renzi was with remarkable other panelists: Katie Turnbull (View Details), Katie Stevens (View Details), Thomas Johnson-Kaiser (View Details), Justin Johnson (View Details) Kimberly Williams (View Details), Sarah Searcy (View Details) Allanté Whitmore (View Details)
  • 353: Choose Your Adopter: Redefining the AV Early Adoption Archetypes. Visualize an early adopter of AVs. You probably see a young, highly educated, high earning individual in an urban area, as does most academic or market research. Is this a given? This workshop examines who can be an early adopter and why. To whom an innovation is introduced is important. When mobility providers tailor offerings to a specific early adopter profile, they exclude other potential early adopters and limit their use cases. This not only constrains scalability because of a biased depiction of demand, but also raises the issue of equity. We explored this topic through presentations and an interactive game with prizes (this was indeed very funny and it will be used as inspiration for a training with the whole SINFONICA consortium in the next face-to-face meeting in Reggio Emilia in September).

During the conference one thing was clear: SINFONICA is dealing with very important issues. We are facing a revolution in the way we move and we must do it better than in the past, we must move towards a world that is truly inclusive, accessible and fair. Or better: we have to build it ourselves!