Join us in Ann Arbor!

It is our pleasure to announce that the XIII NECTAR International Conference will be held at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States of America), from 14 to 16 June 2015.

The transportation field is undergoing a technological revolution in information and communication technologies including “big” data, connected vehicles, modeling techniques, and—just over the horizon—self-driving cars. For these smart transport developments to fulfill their promise, they need to be guided by and deployed in service of smart planning: a planning that improves the fairness of transportation’s distribution and lessens its environmental impact and societal costs. Technological innovations must be implemented in a way that applies the lessons of history on the relationship of transportation and urban form to forestall unwanted outcomes. Fundamentally, these advances must be part of a shift that values accessibility over simple movement as the overarching purpose of transportation.

The conference will facilitate interaction between North American and European transport and communications researchers on all these topics. In addition, the conference will incorporate a specialized subconference for researchers, professionals and decisionmakers from both continents on “Accessibility-Based Evaluation: From Laboratory to Practice.” Researchers have long argued that planning and evaluation of transportation should be on the basis of metrics of accessibility, rather than travel speeds, highway level of service, or vehicular throughput. Yet the progress of this idea into professional practice and decisionmaking has been halting, and nowhere has accessibility evaluation displaced analysis based on the quality or quantity of human or vehicular movement. The specialized subconference will consider obstacles to accessibility-based reform of transportation planning practice, approaches to overcoming those obstacles, and instances of successful implementation of accessibility-based evaluation.

Ann Arbor is the natural venue for such a conference. Located at the edge of the metropolitan Detroit region, Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan have deep connections with the North American auto industry cluster. These linkages have evolved with the cluster itself, and the University of Michigan has emerged as a premiere location for the study of connected and automated transportation. The town itself is a quintessential example of an American college town, with a lively downtown, attractive facilities and destinations for visitors, and a pleasant college campus.

The conference will provide a plenary session for keynote speakers, sessions with presentations of submitted papers, and NECTAR Cluster Meetings/Sessions

Images courtesy of the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau Looking forward to meeting you in the spring of 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan