This article was originally published in Catalyst, August 2022.
Register to join us at the annual CTS Transportation Research Conference, scheduled for November 3, 2022, at the Graduate Minneapolis Hotel on the east bank of the U of M’s Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis.
The opening session and luncheon presentations are described below. Concurrent sessions will explore transportation equity, environmental resilience, driver behavior, infrastructure, planning, technology, and more. See complete details in the preliminary conference program (PDF).
This year’s conference will be held in person only; we hope to see you there!
Opening Session: The Transport Transformation Can’t Wait for Technofuturistic Utopia
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” the Wizard of Oz told the adventurers. The wizard feared they would discover his deception. This, according to Peter Norton, is our dilemma.
We have all the technology we need for the transport transformation, Norton says, but tech companies, automakers, and others want to convince us that we need unlimited futuristic tech. For 90 years, they have been selling us impossible futures, always on the promise that amazing technology will finally deliver a city in which everyone can drive anywhere at any time without delay. When the promises fail, they invoke the next generation of amazing technology to restore their lost credibility. But amazing technology does not make car dependency work. The promoters’ goal has never been transport sufficiency; they sell transport consumerism.
In this presentation, Norton will pull back the curtain, expose the high-tech distraction, and demonstrate that we already have everything we need for the affordable, healthful, inclusive, and sustainable transport future we seek.
Norton is an associate professor of history in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia, where he teaches the history of technology, social dimensions of engineering, research, and professional ethics.
Following the presentation, Minnesota experts on connected and automated vehicles will discuss Norton’s ideas and explore how academic researchers, agencies, and industry partners can work together to build effective, safe, and innovative transportation technologies.
Luncheon: Equity and Electrification
In this presentation, Shelley Francis will discuss the challenges we face in ensuring that the transition to electrified transportation is both equitable and effective.
Francis is the co-founder and managing partner of EVNoire and EVHybridNoire. Her work has focused on helping policymakers and diverse communities navigate electrification and build a transportation system that works for all.