CEOs Gain Expert Insight on AV Tech
Autonomous vehicle (AV) technology has the potential to make as significant an impact as the internal combustion engine had for the industrial revolution. AV technology will not only impact the passenger car market, but Florida industries ranging from public transportation to planned communities. With this in mind, on Oct. 27, 2017[KPM1] , Florida Polytechnic University held a CEO conference on ways Florida Poly can influence and grow [KPM2] four Florida industries absorb and build differentiation based on this disruptive technology. This invitation only event drew over 30 representatives from four sectors — Agriculture, Freight/Logistics, Planned Communities and Public Transportation —to share problems, challenges, opportunities and ideas.
Florida Poly President Dr. Randy K. Avent kicked off the event with a brief overview of the state of the University and its commitment to the application of STEM education in the economic development of the region. He then introduced the plenary session and keynote speaker, Dianne Gutierrez-Scaccetti, executive director and CEO of Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, the developer of SUNTRAX. [link to slides]
The session’s participants then moved into break-out sessions. Each session was chaired by a professional in the sector: Rick Montney, CEO and president of Pro Pak Software in the Agriculture Track; Ken Armstrong, CEO and president of the Florida Trucking Association in the Freight/Logistics Track; Bud Strang, CEO of Six/Ten Corporation in the Planned Communities Track; and Ananth Prasad senior vice president, HNTB, in the Public Transportation Track. Participating faculty members included Dr. Dean Bushey, Dr. Mustapha Akbas, Dr. Harish Chintakunta, Dr. Shahram Taj and Dr. Melissa Morris.
The critical takeaways from the meeting were:
AV-related technologies are influencing economic developments in each track. For[KPM3] tracks like public transportation, the timeframes are immediate, and for others such as planned communities, the impact is more likely in the future.
Florida Poly has a critical role in becoming a repository of unbiased knowledge that Florida industries can use, and as a networking hub for industry as they grapple with the challenges of this technology. There was also some discussion on funding a center at Florida Poly to execute this function.
The conclusion was for Florida Poly to develop a proposal for consideration by the group.